Most of Alabama's Republican congressional delegation opposed banning earmarks for the upcoming Congress.
House Republicans voted last week against a proposed earmark ban during a conference rules meeting. The conference voted 52-158 against an amendment proposed by U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) that would eliminate the current rule allowing members to earmark spending bills. One member voted present, according to a report in Roll Call.
Earmarks are federal funding requests for local projects made by individual members of Congress in spending bills.
All returning Alabama Republican members of Congress who responded to 1819 News said they didn't support the ban on earmarks. U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) told 1819 News he didn't vote at the caucus meeting last week for the next Congress because he's retiring but that his views on earmarks have changed from in favor initially to opposing them.
U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) said in a statement to 1819 News that "he voted to maintain the Congressional power of the purse instead of allowing Joe Biden's swamp bureaucrats to dictate when and how our tax dollars are spent."
"The last thing we need is the Biden administration sending our money to liberal states who can't manage their money," he added.
U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) told 1819 News in a statement, "I support maintaining earmarks, also known as Community Project Funding requests (CPFs)."
"With the White House and Senate under Democrat control, CPFs help us assure that Alabama gets its fair share of federal spending," he added. "These projects only go to local governments and to non-profits, not to private, for-profit companies. Without CPFs, we allow un-elected, D.C. bureaucrats to decide where all of our tax dollars get spent. And it's no surprise, they are not focused on red states like Alabama."
U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) told 1819 News in a statement that "the Founding Fathers were crystal clear in Article I, Section 8 of our American Constitution that Congress has the power of the purse."
"Before House Republicans reinstated congressionally directed spending through Community Funded Projects, one federal grant program under President Obama awarded 536 out of 551 grants to Blue States with vulnerable Democrat incumbents," Rogers continued. "As the Representative of Alabama's Third Congressional district, I know what funds my district needs more than any of Joe Biden's bureaucrats. Community Funded Projects are both necessary, transparent, and our constitutional duty."
Brooks said in a phone interview that "when I was first elected to Congress, I supported earmarks because I believed that it is important for Congress to decide where money is spent rather than the executive branch."
"However, I soon learned that earmarks are nothing more than a form of legal bribery that is used to purchase votes for bad policies that enrich the pockets of special interests and the politically influential to the detriment of sound public policy and the public's interest," he added. "So for the last decade-plus, I've consistently been opposed to earmarks because they so badly corrupt the public policy debate in Congress."
Spokespersons for U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) and U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) didn't return requests for comment from 1819 News.
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