Kudos To Rick Berg For Standing Pat Against Stimulus Spending
Up here in my back yard Congress and President Obama, as part of the stimulus spending, approved a $14.3 million bypass project. But just last month House Republicans voted to stop all stimulus funds that hadn’t already been spent.
Now North Dakota’s Senators, Democrat Kent Conrad and Republican John Hoeven (who, at times, it seems may as well be a Democrat) are scrambling to get that funding put back in. But Rep. Rick Berg is standing by his decision to vote against it, saying that if that money is to be spent it should go through the transportation appropriations process.
Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said he will try to preserve the funding for the bypass project. To make cuts, Congress needs to prioritize funding, but failing to fund the bypass is the wrong priority, he said.
Rep. Rick Berg, who voted for the House bill, stands by his vote.
“The congressman is absolutely very invested in making sure that our nation’s infrastructure is maintained, and, obviously, in North Dakota that’s a huge concern,” said his spokeswoman Alee Lockman. “But right now our nation is facing a deficit, and our No. 1 priority has to be reducing that and getting our economy back on track.”
She said Berg’s opposition is to economic stimulus programs and not the Minot project. He believes the proper way to fund the project is through the traditional transportation appropriation process.
I’ve got to say, that’s refreshing. Too often our have the mindset that they will pursue spending for their districts and states by any means necessary. Because that’s the political convenient thing to do. In Minot, local officials are already whining about how they’ll never get the funds for this project now (keep in mind that Minot, thanks to the oil boom, is in the midst of a tax revenues windfall) and that whining might well come back and bite Rep. Berg.
He’s standing on principle. The federal government is broke. Everyone in this country, including people who live in North Dakota and Minot, are federal taxpayers too.
Senator Conrad is an expert at being a total hypocrite about deficits and the national debt. He’ll rail against deficits, then in the same breath rail against attempts to cut pork for North Dakota. Hoeven, sadly, seems to be following in his foot steps but Berg at least seems to be no such hypocrite.
At least not on this issue.Tags: North Dakota News, Rick Berg