House Speaker-designate John Boehner endorsed Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake, who has been dubbed an “anti-earmark crusader,” to serve on the House Appropriations Committee Monday, a move that is likely to appeal to the new batch of conservative House members who have vowed to keep a close eye on party leadership.
“I support Congressman Jeff Flake in his effort to be appointed to serve on the Appropriations Committee, and I join with incoming Majority Leader Cantor in expressing hope that other reform-minded Members of Congress will follow Jeff’s example in seeking appointment to the committee,” Boehner said in a statement.
The Appropriations Committee is considered one of the most powerful bodies on Capitol Hill since it is responsible for allocating money to federal agencies, pork-barrel projects and other initiatives, many times using earmarks.
Flake, however, sponsored not one single earmark in 2010, and has been calling on Congress to end earmark spending for years. Republicans in both the House and Senate agreed last month to place a party-wide a moratorium on earmark spending with the exception of emergency situations. The Senate last week rejected a chamber-wide restriction on the practice.
Boehner said that the committee will be crucial to implementing the party’s agenda in the 112th Congress next year, and called on his colleagues in the House to back his endorsement.
“The Appropriations Committee will be the scene of much action in the next Congress as we work to implement the Pledge to America, which calls for cutting spending to pre-‘stimulus’ levels, repealing the job-killing health care law, prohibiting all taxpayer funding of abortion, and bringing greater scrutiny to the broken spending process in Washington,” he said.