File under: Chutzpah.
He also has yet to publish his requested earmarks on his website as he has promised.
First, one of Wittman’s press releases dated February 7, 2008:
Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA) released the following statement after today’s procedural motion to force a vote on an immediate earmark moratorium.
“I am disappointed that Speaker Pelosi has rejected a Republican invitation to place an immediate moratorium on all government funded earmarks. I believe this is an issue that we must find common ground on, and that we must do so immediately. Unfortunately, congressional Democrats do not feel the same way.
Wittman’s views on “Wasteful Spending”:
I am committed to fight against wasteful spending and expose the fraud and abuse in Washington. We need to get back to the conservative principles of controlling spending, particularly when it comes to federal earmarks, commonly referred to as “pork barrel” projects.
From The Daily Press via the “VA GOP Network”:
About 65 people crammed into 40 seats and stood along the walls of a meeting room at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites in Newport News for about two hours. What they heard was U.S. Representative Rob Wittman and state Delegates G. Glenn Oder and Brenda Pogge discuss their legislative agendas while railing against excessive governmental spending and, frequently, the Democratic Party.
Wittman spoke of reforming the tax code and legislative earmarking, extending tax cuts and curtailing entitlement programs — particularly Medicaid, Medicare and defense spending, that he said would in five years account for 96 percent of federal government discretionary spending.
“If we don’t get our arms around these particular issues we’re going to have trouble, Wittman said. “We have to find ways of doing things without spending ourselves into oblivion.”
Uh…he wants to cut defense spending in the middle of two wars? Aren’t there five military bases in his Congressional District, as he is so happy to point out?
And from a document distributed by the Stafford County Republican Committee (.DOC file) touting Wittman’s “conservative record” (snort):
Rep. Wittman has joined the members of the Republican Conference to demand reform of earmarks by calling for a Joint Select Committee on Earmark Reform and an earmark moratorium until additional guidelines are recommended.
And now, from the Media General News Service:
As his colleagues debated a moratorium on congressionally-directed budget earmarks this month, Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., requested $132.5 million for local projects.
In his first budget cycle, Wittman sought funding for 52 projects. The largest is $17.5 million to replace a 40-year-old missile support facility at the Navy’s Dahlgren Division in King George Co.
Uh…didn’t he just say he was going to cut defense spending?
Did he vote for it before he voted against it?
Side-stepping the intra-party debate over new House earmark policies, Wittman said he made sure his requests were supported by local agencies, contained non-federal funding, and pledged to publish his requests on his Web site.
“What we try to do is step out in front and develop our own policy and be sure we are transparent,” Wittman said.
Funny, he hasn’t posted the information on either of his websites yet (Google search of his official website and his campaign website). I guess the media gets a list of his earmarks, but us lowly serfs in the First Congressional District don’t. And how exactly would a federal earmark not contain federal funding? Continued:
But critics said it would have been better for him to not participate in the earmark process at all.
“He’s not starting off very well,” said Paige. “If he’s already climbing on the runaway train that is the earmark culture in Congress, he’s going in the wrong direction.”
Critics also say the earmark process increases spending, because lawmakers support each other’s pet projects.
Wittman said he will suggest “spending reductions in other places to offset spending for (his) earmarks.”
Um, yeah, sure, I believe that. Apparently he’s going to reduce spending by increasing spending to pay for people’s health insurance in the tune of $5,000,000 in FY09 and 10, increasing to $10,000,000 in FY11 and 12, and hitting $20,000,000 in FY13 as a cosponsor of H.R.5405. (I must have missed the part of the United States Constitution that includes the provision to pay for people’s health insurance.) Continued:
[Eric] Cantor [R-7th CD] made no appropriation requests for the second year in a row and has called on lawmakers to follow suit while Congress considers reforms to the earmark process.
In closing, to quote P. J. O’Rourke: “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”
And: “The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it.“