McConnell, a longtime member of the Appropriations Committee, isn’t personally opposed to bringing back earmarks, but he is risk averse and doesn’t want to spark a fight with Tea Party conservatives and Republicans considering White House runs in 2024, say GOP lawmakers.

The GOP Senate leader has been coy when asked about the topic.

“I haven’t given any real thought to that. I did hear that Hoyer said that,” he said Tuesday, referring to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who this month said earmarks would be back in January.

“That’s a decision, obviously, the majority decided to make over there, and it will be interesting how the Republicans in the House respond to it,” McConnell said.