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New York Times Catches Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in About-Face on Spending

By Josh Feit April 7, 2011

A blurb in the New York Times today catches U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA, 3)—the one Washington State GOP 2010 candidate who was able to ride the great recession into the other Washington with conservative rhetoric about cutting government spending—changing her tune now when federal spending is in play for her district.

This morning the NYT wrote a story about Rep. Herrera titled: "Gung-Ho for Big Cuts in Spending, Less Fond of the Ones That Hurt Back Home."

The NYT reports:
As a candidate, Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler denounced stimulus spending and, once elected, voted for a Republican budget bill that would make $61 billion in cuts to a vast array of programs this year.

Government overspending is out of control, she said recently in the weekly Republican address, and must be stopped. But perhaps not in her home state, Washington.

There, the Port of Vancouver had been waiting for a $10 million grant, one modeled on a popular program in the stimulus bill. But the money was rescinded in the Republican spending bill, known as H.R. 1, that passed the House in February but was later defeated in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Port officials appealed to Ms. Herrera Beutler, one of 87 freshman Republicans in the House. She agreed to work on the port's behalf to make sure it got its money before any cuts to the grant program went into effect. The outcome remains unknown.

Ms. Herrera Beutler's spokesman said the project in her district was small relative to total government spending.

"We're talking about $10 million out of a more than $1 trillion bill," said the spokesman, Casey Bowman. "There are likely other small cuts made in H.R. 1 that she didn't fully agree with but she voted to cut spending over all because, as economists have said, cutting federal spending will help economic recovery."

While scores of congressmen and women are singing an ode to spending reductions with their Republican choir in Washington, back home, the tune sometimes changes.

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