Republicans turn on each other over earmarks

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) issued a decidedly unsubtle threat to Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) for attempting to cut programs in Young’s home state and use the funds for programs around the country, declaring that “those who bite me will be bitten back.”

Young’s outburst came in response to an amendment offered by Garrett that would cut an $11.8 million earmark for “Strengthening Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions.”

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Young said in his floor speech that “New Jersey has a bad reputation” and blamed the GOP’s minority status on “members who want to cut spending.”

Garrett retorted that part of the problem with Congress could be that some members look at appropriations as their personal checking accounts.

The New Jersey Republican said that when “the gentleman from Alaska comes forward and says, ‘It’s my money,’” and the funds are then used for projects like the infamous Bridge to Nowhere, taxpayers see problems with the process.

Republican Study Committee (RSC) members quickly sprang to Garrett’s defense after he tried unsuccessfully to have Young’s words read again through parliamentary procedure.

Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) and RSC Chairman Jeb Hensarling (Texas) criticized the level of spending and praised Garrett for his attempt to cut it further.