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U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is Critical of Obama's Speech Even as Fed Money Heads Her Way

By Chris Kissel February 25, 2009

While offering some polite praise of Obama's Tuesday night address to a joint session of Congress, Washington state's Republican delegation in D.C. mostly voiced concern over the possibility of tax increases to lower the national deficit. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5, WA) and Dave Reichert (R-8, WA) said the government should rely on small businesses to revive the economy.

In a statement issued late yesterday, Rep. Reichert said: "I am concerned that the address leaves open the possibility of raising taxes on small businesses, the proven engines of job creation and prosperity. We need to keep intact the freedom for ordinary Americans to pursue real opportunities, and to do so, we must keep taxes low, open markets to trade, and work to ensure access to credit."

Rep. McMorris Rodgers added: "We heard the call last night to start living within our means, and I applaud President Obama's commitment to reducing our national debt. Now is the time for both parties to back up their promises for fiscal discipline." 

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re--e_Bcmh0[/youtube]

Indeed, McMorris Rodgers also said the Senate budget proposal was "loaded with earmarks, over 9,000."  Although, she did not list specific programs that would qualify as "earmarks."

McMorris Rodgers' criticism of government spending comes exactly as the Senate is aiming large spending proposals at her district. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), who chairs the Transportation and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee in the Senate, announced this week that the Feds would be sending McMorris Rodgers' district millions of dollars from the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations bill to fund transportation, housing, education and law enforcement initiatives, much of which is intended to help create jobs in the area.  

"Earmarks" for Rep. McMorris Rodgers district include: $3 million for transportation projects in Walla Walla, almost $1.3 million for transit in Pullman, $1 million for the nursing school at WSU, almost $500,000 for a bridge in Spokane, and $500,000 to expand the regional law enforcement information hub in Spokane.

We have a call into McMorris Rodgers' office to get her comment on these projects.

UPDATE: Asked if there were any specific projects on the list  for the 5th district that Rep. McMorris Rodgers disagrees with, her spokesman, Destry Henderson, told PubliCola he wasn't familiar with the list, so he couldn't say. However, he emphasized that Rep. McMorris Rodgers generally thinks government should be spending less. 

"At a time when families and small business owners are cutting back, [shouldn't] the government be cutting back too?" he asks.
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