Boehner: GOP to Declare War Over Earmarks

According to John Boehner, Republicans are going to get serious about earmarks.

Minority Leader John Boehner threatened Democratic leaders Tuesday, vowing to slow down legislative activities in the House until Democrats agree to open up earmarking policy so that lawmakers disclose their pet projects earlier in the bill-making process.

“Republicans today are going to declare war on our Democratic majority over these secret slush funds,” Boehner told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Republicans are hoping to hold Democrats to an earlier promise to make earmark requests more transparent by revealing where earmarks are designated and which lawmaker is requesting them before spending bills reach the House floor. Democrats want to release that information during the conference committee process, well after the House votes for appropriations.

Boehner, R-Ohio, said he is upset over the change of heart, and Democrats need to “realize the errors of their ways.”

Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said Monday he would kill all pet projects if Republican leaders “demagogue” the issue. Obey said lawmakers had submitted more than 32,000 earmark requests this yearI hope Boehner is not just posturing and actually backs up the tough talk. It would be politically smart, and the right thing to do, which is partially why I will believe it when I see it.

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