From Eric Dondero:
The first signs of the strength of the Tea Party are emerging on Capitol Hill.
From Fox News "GOP-Controlled House Committees Take Shape":
One of the biggest surprises of the process came late Monday, when Boehner - who controls a majority of the seats on the Steering committee - released a statement endorsing Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona for a seat on Appropriations. Two years earlier, Flake, an ardent opponent of earmarks, had sought a seat on the panel, but the GOP leadership - then supporting earmarks - rebuffed him.Appearing on Cavuto on Monday:
Now, prodded in part by Tea Party activists - who backed Flake - the GOP leadership has embraced a ban on earmarks, which are a favorite means for lawmakers to steer taxpayer funds to their own home districts, often for pork projects. Boehner's support for Flake joining the Appropriations Committee is seen as a signal of the leader's respect for the power of the Tea Party movement.
Flake noted that he would be the panel's first opponent of earmarks. "If you have been on the committee, I think, by definition, you have been earmarking. So, we are just going to have to change direction," Flake said. "We are going to have to make some deep, deep cuts in very popular programs."Tad DeHaven, analyst for Tax and Budget policy at the Cato Institute had this reaction:
Flake is one of the few policymakers who actually lives up to the fiscal conservative label. Thus, Flake’s appointment to a committee that many members think only exists to increase spending on special interests would be welcome news.Though DeHaven also cautioned that it can't be a token gesture:
Anti-spenders like Flake will need support from their leadership to succeed because they sure won’t be making friends with the big-spending old bulls.