Hal Rogers

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers on the Budget

Written by Tad DeHaven, a budget analyst at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.

Following the House’s passage of a six-month continuing resolution last week (my comments on the CR here), House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) chatted about fiscal policy with a couple of reporters on C-SPAN. The interview did nothing to change my 2010 opinion that the House leadership handing Rogers the chairman’s gavel was “about as inspiring as re-heated meatloaf.”

While Rogers is correct that domestic discretionary spending represents a relatively small share of total spending (approximately 12 percent) and that entitlement spending is the bigger problem, his comment that “we’ve just about reached the bottom of the barrel” on such spending is a stretch. Domestic discretionary spending has dropped, but after a sizeable increase during the 2000s. And arguably more important than the dollar amount this category represents are the activities being funded. For example, the federal government shouldn’t be spending a dime on the Department of Education, which is mostly discretionary spending.

Anderson Cooper exposes the King of Pork

Yesterday, I posted the list of committee chairman selected by the Republican Steering Committee for the next Congress, noting that Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY), the incoming chair of House Appropriations Committee, has a reputation for wasting money.

In his “Keeping Them Honest” segment on Wednesday night, Anderson Cooper detailed some of the pork Rogers, the King of Pork, has brought home:

He got a quarter billion dollars in the last two years, including 52 million dollars for a National Center for Hometown Security. It’s located right there in Somerset, Kentucky, which is Congressman Rogers’ hometown. Population? Wait for it–11,000. The local airport’s also gotten earmarks over the years. $17 million even though the last commercial airline? They pulled out in February due to a lack of passengers. It’s right down the road, by the way, from the Hal Rogers Parkway.

Yes, this is who Republicans selected to be the head of the House Appropriations Committee, famously dubbed “the favor factory” by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ). Unacceptable.

Here is the video:

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