The Road to Recovery Begins with Jeff Flake on Appropriations

By The Directors Posted in Comments (26) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

With Roger Wicker being named a United States Senator, there is an opening on the Appropriations Committee for the U.S. House of Representatives. The Republicans get to fill the seat. The Republican leadership has a great opportunity to prove that it is serious about earmark reform and a conservative approach to spending. It’s time to put some action behind their rhetoric.

Rep. Tom Cole, the Chairman of the NRCC, the campaign arm of the House Republicans, claims that he deserves the spot - that putting himself on the Appropriations Committee will help improve Republican fundraising successes. That, in and of itself, should tell you everything you need to know about why Tom Cole is a poor choice.

We encourage you to call your Republican member of Congress (or the closest one to you if you don't have one) and encourage them to support Rep. Jeff Flake for the Appropriations Committee.

The GOP will not earn the trust of voters again until the House Republicans prove they are fiscally responsible. Jeff Flake has led the fight on the House floor against earmarks and wasteful spending. Jeff Flake gets it.

Our party needs Jeff Flake as the face for reform on the influential Appropriations Committee. He is also one of the few men who could change the committee instead of the committee changing him.

The Republican Steering Committee will nominate someone for this spot - and generally, the Republican Conference as a whole rubber stamps that nomination. But it does not have to be that way. Already Republican backbenchers and members of the Republican Study Committee are gearing up for a fight to nominate Jeff Flake.

If the Steering Committee does not nominate Flake, the Conference can. Let's help them out. Call your Republican member of Congress and encourage him or her to support Jeff Flake.

We will not take back the House of Representatives until we've taken back our principles. Jeff Flake on Appropriations is a good first step. As we said at the top of this post, the Republican leadership has a great opportunity to prove they are serious about earmark reform and a conservative approach to spending. It’s time to put some action behind their rhetoric.


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The Road to Recovery Begins with Jeff Flake on Appropriations 26 Comments (0 topical, 26 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

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Molon Labe!

Flake is an honest ta goodness fiscal conservative. Remember when the House and Senate overrode the Bush veto of the water bill. Flake led the effort to sustain the veto. It was a hopeless effort, but even Hoyer said he respected Flake's stand because he was one of the few (only) members of Congress who consistently fights against deficit spending. With Flake on the Appropriations Committee and McCain in the Whitehouse we as a nation could start putting our financial house in order.

No offense, but I have not heard of either of these Representatives. Can you offer some more info on both, please, (links to stories, videos, etc.) as to their credentials to go on (or stay off) the Appropriations Committee. For example, has Rep. Cole done anything to rein in spending. I read your comments regarding Rep. Flake, and he seems like a budget hawk, and a good choice, but if Cole is also a budget hawk, why would it matter who gets the seat.

If Cole's only qualification is NRCC Chairman, then I would agree with you. However, if Cole has been a budget hawk, then I would not see a problem with either one.

Just asking, because I will see my Congressman on Friday, who is an "R", I can ask in person, instead of phone or e-mail. I just want to be educated on the subject, so I can be educated when talking to my representative.

Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.
-- Pericles (430 B.C.)

Flake is one of the very best conservative Republicans we have in the Congress.

HTML Help for Red Staters

I am not a political junkie, I don't work on any campaigns in an official capacity (state or federal); I get up in the morning, go to work, provide for my family as best I can, listen to Rush L. when I can, get on RedState to get caught up on some political news, and go to bed. This is the first campaign I actually donated money to a Presidential candidate (Fred!), and have read RedState for only about a year. I helped out on a volunteer basis for a campaign last year, which was my first time doing that.

I am active in Young Republican circles in MO, but I don't go to the national conventions. I go to state conventions, but that's about it. I'm more of a local politics person.

I'm just trying to learn more, as well as other people I bet, who are new to the site. Just want some backup to the info provided.

Look, I'm somewhat new here. In my line of work, sometimes I get so caught up in what I do that I assume all my other co-workers/clients know what I am talking about. But I have to explain things, sometimes, that are basic to me, but advanced knowledge to the co-workers. I have to remember that not everybody in my place of business understands or has the knowledge that I do in a certain area, so I have to explain the "why" of why something was done, or something I did.

This site is great, and I enjoy it. I learn a lot from it, and I like the differing opinions so that I can make up my own mind on subjects. I use this site as a learning tool for myself more than anything. I just wanted some background info on both people. I can go look them up myself as well, but since you are the professors of Conservative knowledge, I thought I would try to get some info from posters.

Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.
-- Pericles (430 B.C.)

And he has always been great.

Earmarkers worst night mare, always has real people answer the phone ( unlike jon the con-man).

Ment John not Jon. Senator kyl has also bee great at both answering mail and ease of contact.

McCain is terriffying to contact wants everything but your blood type and a dna sample just to leave a message ( forget about talking to a real human).

It's just that I don't know the names of that many House members, but Flake's is one I recognize, heh.

HTML Help for Red Staters

Flake, is one of the few solid conservatives in Congress (there are about 60 to 80 by my count).

http://www.clubforgrowth.com/2007/08/the_2007_club_for_growth_repor.php

http://www.conservative.org/archive2/House_standout.asp

...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right...

---Thomas Paine---

If the Republicans do not start giving money to the right candidates through organizations such as Clubforgrowth.org and to Republicans through something like Slatecard.com, we will be awash in big spending Democrats. Calling your Senator and Congressman is helpful but it is even more helpful if they know you have been giving money to such groups as Club for Growth.

chance of taking back the House, shouldn't we at least consider it?

Rep. Tom Cole, the Chairman of the NRCC, the campaign arm of the House Republicans, claims that he deserves the spot - that putting himself on the Appropriations Committee will help improve Republican fundraising successes.

OK---before I go any farther, I suppose I should make clear that, if Tom Cole is likely to go Duke Cunningham on us, if he's the kind of person likely to "charge" interest groups if they want his consideration on the legislative matters before him, then by all means he shouldn't get the Appropriations seat. (come to think of it---if he's that kind of guy, he shouldn't keep his House seat!)

But, if having the NRCC chair on House Appropriations makes it more likely that the NRCC gets some money for this upcoming election---that can be a good thing, folks.

IIRC, the best chance, historically, to unseat a group of freshman Congressmen who rode into office on a wave of enthusiasm---e.g., the 2006 freshman Dems---is the very next election. If those freshmen get reelected, and the mortar of incumbency hardens around them, the chances of unseating them in the future drops dramatically.

If you think a free-spending Republican-led Congress was bad, ponder the alternative--a long-term Democratic-led Congress.

In my Congressional district (AZ 8--Giffords [D]), I watched the Dems run ads during the GOP primary, targeted at the most electable GOP candidate. It worked---the least-electable primary candidate won. Hence, I now have a Dem Congresswoman in a majority-Republican district. Sound familiar?

In 2007, more than a year before any election, I saw several union-paid-for ads touting Rep. Giffords' (in the union's eyes) strength and accomplishments. I've also heard she has a million dollars in the bank for her reelection, plus lots more out-of-state money on the way if needed.

I also recall Rudy Giuliani talking about how, when he campaigned for GOP congressional candidates in the last election cycle, he kept hearing stories of MoveOn.org-paid-for ads on the airwaves everywhere.

Folks, if we have a good shot at getting the House back in 2008, we need to maximize every chance we have to take it. If Tom Cole is right, if in the political environment we live in today, not the one we dream of for the future, having the NRCC chair on Appropriations will mean more money in GOP election coffers, we should think things through before saying no to Cole.

I am a Jeff Flake guy. But, Jeff Flake on a Democrat-majority Appropriations Committee will be, at best, a voice in the wilderness. At worst, he'll be portrayed as a crank, constantly complaining in the background about excessive spending, while the Dems with the gavel chuckle to themselves and spend, spend, spend. For Jeff Flake's ideas to actually get put into practice, the Republicans need to take back the House.

Directors, as devil's advocate, let me ask this question: In the political world---and specifically, the fundraising world---we live in today, will having the NRCC Chair on House Appropriations help GOP fundraising? If the answer is "yes," and if evidence shows us that Tom Cole is a decent guy*, then I see value in putting him on House Appropriations now. Before the 2008 elections. Before the mortar hardens around these freshmen House Dems, who will be incumbents with plenty of cash come November.

* If the evidence shows that Tom Cole is NOT a decent guy, then we should just blow up our whole GOP House leadership. If it can't produce decent people to be its leaders, then we need to start from scratch. If we've come to that conclusion, that we need to start from scratch in the House, then perhaps Jeff Flake is the best choice. But, prepare for a long time in the wilderness.

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

If Tom Cole gets the approps seat lobbyists will give the NRCC more money. Why? Presumably because Cole will have the power to pay them back by securing earmarks from his slot on approps.

Ummmm...Isn't this the whole problem with the earmarking boondoggle in Congress? If we are really going to fix this it is going to take throwing some serious wrenches in the appropriations system. Flake would be such.

Even if Cole's argument holds water, I am not sure I want a GOP majority that props up this miserable status quo mentality about spending American taxdollars.

..I don't see how the other committee men/women will let him be an effective "monkey wrench" in the system.

What's he going to do? Have a Peter Finch moment on the floor of the House? Is that why we want him on Appropriations?

Even if Flake brings the Republicans around, he'll never reach the Dems. Over spending is in their DNA. So, if the Dems keep control of the committee, don't hold out much hope for fiscal constraint.

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

Smagar, you ignorant slut, what the heck are you talking about?

Hahahaha. Sorry. I've always wanted to use that line.

Seriously, the GOP Appropriators are doing a good job of acting like Democrats. Cole has pretty much admitted he would play into that. We know from exit polling data that the GOP has lost the edge on fiscal discipline.

Flake would get us that edge back. Cole adds nothing. And it has never been shown anyway that the NRCC would benefit from its chair having an appropriations spot.

Fight On!

won't benefit the GOP in its 2008 Congressional battle, then OK. If you think Cole is blowing smoke, OK.

But, it sems to me that we need every tactical advantage we can get for 2008. Do we want the House back or not? If so, we may have to make some short-term tactical compromises (e.g. putting another spendthrift on Appropriations) if it might help us achieve a larger strategic goal---taking back the house of Congress from which all spending bills originate.

If the Directors think Cole is blowing smoke about the fundraising benefit of his being on Appropriations, then OK. But, if we don't take the House back this cycle, when do you think we will? How, in the face of a powerful Dem money effort?

I hope y'all are right.

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

I agree that Flake is a very strong fiscal conservative.

He is also one of the very worst Republicans on illegal immigration. I'm not sure if it has been re-filed in the current session but in the last Congress he teamed up with one of the most radical of the Hispanic caucus Democrats and they had an amnesty plan that made the Senate McCaineddy Shamnesty Plan look tough.

I don't like that guy having control over funding for border security.

Fundamentally Flake is a libertarian and he has pretty much drank the Libertarian open borders koolaid.

Congress has passed quite a few good immigration laws including many of the provisions of the 1986 Reagan Amnesty and the 1996 Immigration Reforms and a lot that happened more recently. But passing a law and passing the necessary funding through the appropriations process are too different matters. Laws without funds being appropriated to implement and enforce them are empty promises.

As a very recent example, $3 billion dollars for border security just got stripped out of next year's omnibus appropriations bill along with certai provisions that made the border fence mandatory and double layered. This mischief got stuck in an appropriations bill and the appropriations committee plays a big role in what ends up in those bills.

Having a politician like Flake who does not believe in border security or immigration enforcement playing a key role in the appropriations process can potentially have a big and negative impact on border security and immigration enforcement because without funds being appropriated the laws don't mean squat.

Isn't that rather obvious?

The appropriators have very little to do with the immigration debate. In fact, putting him on appropriations would have NO impact on border security.

Any Conservative should PRAY that Mr. Flake gets put on the Appropriations Committee. Until Conservatives are placed there, the Congress will never do right by earmarks or pass spend more thoughtfully.

It's silly to make the immigration argument here, silly and self-defeating.

Dirk-a-Dirk

It's pretty obvious that the Republican party leadership _still_ hasn't realized why they lost in 2006. And when they lose even more badly this year they'll find some other reason to blame it. "It was just a down year for Republicans" or some nonsense like that.

I'd love to be wrong on that, but I just don't see it.

Jeff Flake is aiding and abetting the Castro regime by endlessly lobbying for the lifting of the Cuban embargo. I can't support any move that elevates the importance of Jeff Flake in Congress. Surely there are others who are deserving, that don't seem beholden to Havana.

Once again, this would have nothing to do with the appropriations committee. This would be like disqualifying a qualified General from being named Secretary of Defense because they don't support tax cuts.

Dirk-a-Dirk

That the appropriations committee doesn't have anything to do with funding of programs like Radio Marti and others that are intended to support dissidents in Cuba?

One would think that it would. Fidel Castro would have a friend on that committee.

No thanks.

 
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