NY Times spotlights Herrera Beutler for trying to have it both ways

And now, the stellar Kathie Durbin, our political reporter, has a bit of news for the blogosphere:

U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler got some ink in the New York Times this week for taking a fiscal hard line in Washington, D.C., while going to bat for a local agency back home.

The Times noted that our local congresswoman denounced federal stimulus funding as a candidate and went on to vote for a Republican budget bill that would make $61 billion in cuts to programs this year.

Continuing on that theme, Herrera Beutler said in her March 19 debut delivering the weekly Republican address that federal spending is out of control and must be stopped.

“But perhaps not in her home state, Washington,” Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer opined.

As reported in The Columbian, the Port of Vancouver had been counting on a $10 million federal grant to advance a critical rail project. But the GOP spending bill rescinded the money in its February budget bill.

“Port officials appealed to Ms. Herrera Beutler, one of 87 freshman Republicans in the House,” the Times reported. “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.”

Port spokeswoman Theresa Wagner told the Times Herrera Beutler had been “incredibly receptive” to the port’s concerns.

Casey Bowman, Herrera Beutler’s spokesman, explained the apparent inconsistency in his boss’s position by noting that the $10 million she agreed to lobby for was a drop in the bucket in a $1 trillion-plus budget.

There are likely other small cuts made in (the budget) 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,” Bowman said.

The Times noted that Herrera Beutler is not alone among new House Republicans in “trying to circumvent the very cuts they voted for” when faced with constituent backlash.

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