- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 9, 2018

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan confirmed Tuesday that his troops are beginning a conversation about restoring the practice of earmark spending — though he said they were just conversations at this point.

“I want our members to have conversations,” he told reporters.

Mr. Ryan said he’s “encouraged” GOP lawmakers to talk about budget reforms and earmarks are part of that — though he himself didn’t take a stand on whether he wants to see the practice restored.

The Washington Times reported Monday that a number of lawmakers are looking to restore earmarking on a limited basis, saying they’ve become frustrated with the way federal agencies are treating their spending requests.

The Army Corps of Engineers has become a particular focus of anger for lawmakers, and Mr. Ryan said that’s driving the conversation on Capitol Hill.

“We have members who are very frustrated with the corps,” he said.

The House GOP was poised to vote to revive earmarks in 2016, just after the election, but Mr. Ryan pleaded with them to hold off, saying it would have sent the wrong signal at a time when President-elect Trump was attempting to “drain the swamp” in Washington.

Mr. Ryan promised a study of the issue instead — though that promise got swamped by the press of business.

This year’s hearings, expected to start later this month, belatedly make good on that promise.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide