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Republicans who captured the House last month in part on the strength of a promise to rein in government spending have tapped a veteran lawmaker known as the "prince of pork" to head the powerful House Appropriations Committee. And the decision's not sitting so well among some conservatives.

Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers, who earned the "pork" nickname by steering hundreds of millions of federal dollars to projects in his rural district in Kentucky over a 30-year career in Congress, will chair the 60-member Appropriations Committee, the panel responsible for disbursing more than $1 trillion in non-entitlement-program dollars every year.

Rogers beat two other House veterans with a history of securing earmarks, or special projects, for their districts -- former committee chairman Jerry Lewis of California and Jack Kingston of Georgia. All three campaigned for the position by vowing to carry out the GOP's pledge to ban earmarks and stressing that they were the best man to realize Republicans' election promises to drastically slash federal spending.

"The nation is in a fiscal crisis and hard decisions are coming," Rogers said in a statement after his selection.

But the longtime congressman has a very long list of earmarks under his belt, a fact that may rankle the new guard of spend-averse Tea Partiers. "I don't think the response is going to be good," conservative Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., said on Hugh Hewitt's radio show.
 

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Yup. Not good. They really don't get it. Throw 'em out with Obama in 2012, and protest like crazy until then.
 

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I agree throw them all out on their ass. Its our own fault so lets clean it up. It amazes me how these guys maintain any political standing. They should not even have a career in politics with the stunts they pull. There should be some requirement of political knowledge in order to cast a vote. But then I am sure there would be a sick bastard manipulate that system as well. :crazy:

The 10 Worst Congressmen
9. BIN LADEN'S BEST FRIEND
HAL ROGERS (R-KY.)
 

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I really cant blame a guy for trying to help a state like kentucy, west virginia, mississippi...ect....
 

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I really cant blame a guy for trying to help a state like kentucy, west virginia, mississippi...ect....
WASHINGTON -- For nearly 30 years, Rep. Hal Rogers has used his sway on powerful committees to steer billions in federal funds into a rural stretch of his Kentucky district dubbed "Silicon Holler."

Now, new rules requiring members of Congress to publicize their requests on their Web sites offer -- for the first time -- an early glimpse into exactly which projects the Somerset Republican, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, favors before those multimillion-dollar requests are tucked into the federal spending bills. There are 103 requests totaling $466.6 million on Rogers' 22-page request form, which is buried several pages deep on his Web site and downloaded sideways in an unsearchable format.

Those requests include more than $40 million for programs that Rogers either created directly or are housed in Rogers' hometown of Somerset at the Center for Rural Development, a sprawling, state-of-the-art facility that locals call the "Taj-Ma Hal." The National Institute for Hometown Security, a non-profit organization that Rogers helped create and has few staffers, is slated to net $15 million "to continue to provide leadership in discovering and developing community based critical infrastructure protections solutions."

The Department of Homeland Security has never requested any funding for the National Institute of Hometown Security, though former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge came to Kentucky to announce the non-profit's formation several years ago.

Groups that monitor government transparency and the use of federal funds are especially troubled by the trend of members on the powerful House and Senate appropriations committees -- which are in charge of setting specific money expenditures -- earmarking taxpayer money to fund lawmaker-created non-profit organizations. Rogers and Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., who like his Kentucky counterpart hails from an economically strapped region struggling to bring in new industry, stand out as prime examples of this practice, said William Allison, senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit group that advocates for transparency in government.

"You're using federal money to create organizations that wouldn't exist," Allison said. "They're hiring people -- sometimes bringing in political supporters. Sometimes (those supporters) promote the lawmaker as much as the group, because they're out in the community and people identify the group with the member. It amplifies the member and it raises a lot of questions."

Taxpayer advocacy groups also say such practices are an abuse of power, an example of Rogers using his political clout to channel millions in federal homeland security funds into pet projects for his district.

"When we see a member of Congress using tax dollars to create such non-profit entities, we call it phony philanthropy," said David Williams, vice president of policy for Citizens Against Government Waste, a Washington-based group that tracks federal pork. "It's easy to spend someone else's money; it's much harder to spend your own. If you set up a non-profit advocacy and they're advocating a point of view, then every citizen is advocating that view whether they agree with it or not."
 

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"You're using federal money to create organizations that wouldn't exist," Allison said. "They're hiring people -- sometimes bringing in political supporters. Sometimes (those supporters) promote the lawmaker as much as the group, because they're out in the community and people identify the group with the member. It amplifies the member and it raises a lot of questions."

Taxpayer advocacy groups also say such practices are an abuse of power, an example of Rogers using his political clout to channel millions in federal homeland security funds into pet projects for his district.

"When we see a member of Congress using tax dollars to create such non-profit entities, we call it phony philanthropy," said David Williams, vice president of policy for Citizens Against Government Waste, a Washington-based group that tracks federal pork. "It's easy to spend someone else's money; it's much harder to spend your own. If you set up a non-profit advocacy and they're advocating a point of view, then every citizen is advocating that view whether they agree with it or not."

Yeah....

Not what I expected, for sure.
Big No no.
 
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