Ryan pulls plug on House GOP bid to restore earmarks

MarketsAssociated Press

House Republican leaders have halted a bid by some GOP lawmakers to restore earmarks, those directives that steer funds to specific projects back home.

Republican lawmakers were discussing the plan at a closed-door meeting Wednesday when Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the plug, saying the issue should be debated in public. Ryan promised to revisit the issue early next year.

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Former Speaker John Boehner imposed a moratorium on earmarks several years ago after they became associated with boondoggle projects and corruption.

Republican congressman Mike Simpson of Idaho says the timing for the earmarks measure was off.

Simpson says voters elected President-elect Donald Trump in part because of his pledge to "drain the swamp" of Washington corruption, adding that restoring earmarks so soon "would have been a bad look."