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'Why people don’t trust government': Haley blasts House GOP's 'secret' earmark vote

Nikki Haley
Former U.N. Ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley speaks during an event sponsored by Turning Point USA at Clemson University on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard) Meg Kinnard/AP

‘Why people don’t trust government’: Haley blasts House GOP’s ‘secret’ earmark vote

November 30, 07:27 PM November 30, 07:27 PM

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EXCLUSIVE — Nikki Haley called a recent closed-door vote on earmark provisions by the House Republican conference “totally unacceptable” in an exclusive statement to the Washington Examiner.

“It is totally unacceptable that the House GOP voted in secret to keep earmarks. Every single member owes their constituents an explanation,” the former South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said, slamming the vote. “This is why people don’t trust government.”

The conference voted 158-52 on Wednesday against an amendment proposed by Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) that would have ended the rule allowing members to add earmark provisions to legislation, so long as they sufficiently provide a written record of the purpose and recipient. Because the vote was conducted in a closed-door setting, there is no public record of how members of the conference voted.



The 2022 fiscal omnibus spending bill boasted 4,975 earmarks, totaling $9.7 billion. Earmarks allow lawmakers to set aside funding in spending bills for specific community projects, often dubbed pet projects. Representatives in swing districts often use the provision to tout their ability to bring home funding to constituents. However, some Republican members have criticized the measure and advocated doing away with it to decrease federal spending.

Haley has expressed her opposition to earmarks on several occasions.

The politician even made one final plea ahead of the conference’s vote, to no avail. “Americans deserve better than politicians in Washington wasting billions of their hard-earned dollars on pork projects and special-interest giveaways,” she tweeted.


In 2011, Haley signed a bill requiring that South Carolina’s House and Senate hold more roll call votes.

“This is about accountability in South Carolina. And this is about the people having the right to know what their elected officials are doing all the time because elected officials work for the people and not the other way around,” she said at the time.

A decade later, she echoed her call for transparency in lawmaking bodies. “Anything important enough to be debated on the floor of the House or the Senate is important enough to have votes on the record,” Haley said in a recent interview, recounting her work on the South Carolina bill.



It is heavily speculated that Haley will make a presidential run in 2024, though she has yet to confirm her plans. At a Tuesday speaking engagement at Clemson University, she told attendees that “we are taking the holidays to kind of look at what the situation is,” referring to a possible campaign.

“If we decide to get into it, we’ll put 1,000% in, and we’ll finish it,” she said.

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