Congress members demand cuts…for everyone else
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As we’ve highlighted before, lawmakers are often quick to call for cuts, but end up not being so eager to make sacrifices when the effects are felt in their home districts or states.
A recent New York Times article details Congress’ “not in my back yard” attitude.
Below is an excerpt. Click here for the full article.
As a candidate, Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler denounced stimulus spending and, once elected, voted for a Republican budget bill that would make $61 billion in cuts to a vast array of programs this year.
Government overspending is out of control, she said recently in the weekly Republican address, and must be stopped. But perhaps not in her home state, Washington.
There, the Port of Vancouver had been waiting for a $10 million grant, one modeled on a popular program in the stimulus bill. But the money was rescinded in the Republican spending bill, known as H.R. 1, that passed the House in February but was later defeated in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Port officials appealed to Ms. Herrera Beutler, one of 87 freshman Republicans in the House. She agreed to work on the port’s behalf to make sure it got its money before any cuts to the grant program went into effect.
Ms. Herrera Beutler’s spokesman said the project in her district was small relative to total government spending.
While scores of congressmen and women are singing an ode to spending reductions with their Republican choir in Washington, back home, the tune sometimes changes.
In town-hall-style meetings and in interviews with local news media in recent weeks, some Republican members have been backing away from the cuts made in various spending bills passed by the House. In some cases, they are trying to circumvent the very cuts they voted for.