The top House Republican is irked about a decision to shut down a GOP-launched Web site calling for reform of the congressional pet projects known as earmarks.

Earmarks have been a tough issue in Congress. At the start of last year, Congressional Democrats slapped a temporary moratorium on all earmarks. Now the House GOP wants to put a moratorium on earmarks.

Minority leader Boehner, of Ohio, penned a letter on Thursday to Daniel Beard, the Hosue Chief Administrative Officer, calling for reversal of the decision.

Click here to see the Web site, www.earmarkreform.house.gov.

Boehner said that since the Feb. 12 launch, the site "has welcomed thousands of visitors and been mentioned prominently in many media and blog articles on efforts to change the earmark process and end wasteful pork-barrel spending in Congress."

"I was surprised, then, to receive an e-mail message from your office on February 21, 2008 — nearly two weeks after the successful public debut of the new website — stating that www.earmarkreform.house.gov must be shut down and moved to a different location with a different domain name.

"I am writing today to register my protest over this belated change," Boehner said.

Calling it a "dramatic reversal," Boehner demanded an explanation, and said it appears to be a convenient change of course in light of some recent news items, including one that House leaders are doling out pricey projects to freshmen Democrats in an effort to bolster their re-election hopes, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's refusal to sign an all-out moratorium on earmarks.