Campaign 2010

Dec 07, 2010

Will the House Republican Freshmen Approve Fiscally Irresponsible Appropriations Chairman Known as

Will the House Republican Freshmen Approve Fiscally Irresponsible Appropriations Chairman Known as Kentucky’s “Prince of Pork”?

Today, an internal committee of House Republicans recommended Representative Hal Rogers (R-Kentucky) to Chair the House Appropriations Committee despite Rogers’ record of letting budget deficits balloon and his reputation as Kentucky’s “Prince of Pork.” The 85 newly elected Freshmen in the House Republican Conference will have to decide whether to support the fiscally irresponsible choice of their leadership or remain true to the 2010 campaign pledges on fiscal responsibility.

Rogers has pushed through 135 earmarks at a cost of $246 million in the past two years. Rogers and his Republican allies were responsible for turning record budget surpluses of the 1990’s into record deficits.

“American families heard a lot of Republican rhetoric about fiscal responsibility and reining in debt this election season, but now they’re faced with the choice of the ‘Prince of Pork’ to head their appropriations process,” said Ryan Rudominer of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Representative Rogers’ record on fiscal responsibility looks like a shopping spree – no splurge left behind. Are Republicans really going to reduce the debt by selecting Hal Rogers - of the Hal Rogers Parkway - as their pork barrel Chairman or will the 85 new freshmen members honor their pledge to be fiscally responsible? Voters will be watching this first test of whether the freshmen Republicans are really committed to fiscal responsibility.”

BACKGROUND

The Prince of Pork. “Roger’s has brought so much federal money to his hometown (Somerset, Kentucky; population 11,000) that it is known as Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.  There’s a $52 million National Center for Hometown Security.  The tiny airport that received $17 million in federal dollars but has so little traffic that the last commercial airline pulled out in February.  And then there’s the Hal Rogers Parkway, which was formerly known as the Daniel Boone Parkway before being renaming for Kentucky’s Prince of Pork.

Most recently, Rogers pushed through a $5 million dollar measure this year for conservation groups that work with endangered wild cats.  It just so happens that one of the few groups eligible is the Namibia-based Cheetah Conservation Fund.  Who works for them?  The Congressman’s daughter.

Over the past two years, Rogers has pushed through 135 earmarks at a cost of $246 million.” [ABC News, 12/6/10]