Kingston says he’s thick-skinned enough to be Appropriations chair

The nine-term Republican is emphasizing his conservative credentials in a fight for the gavel with Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.), the panel’s ranking member, and Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.). 

Kingston noted that he has earned an 89 percent rating from the fiscally conservative National Taxpayers Union, a better score than Rogers’s 75 percent and Lewis’s 80 percent. 

He blamed both parties for spending the country into a crisis. 

“This wasn’t Democrats alone,” he told Cavuto. “Republicans had a hand in ramping up spending, but we’ve got to bring it under control.”

Kingston said that “everyone” is in agreement that earmarks need to be dealt with, but that budget cutters need to go beyond them to tackle grants to states, which receive an average 28 percent of their budgets from the federal government.

“We have got to stop that when it is all deficit spending,” he said. 

Kingston also hinted that he would oppose funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through emergency spending bills. Appropriations for the two wars have been allocated in legislation separate from the annual appropriations process. 

“We are still funding the war as if we did not know last year that we would still be in Afghanistan and Iraq this year,” he said.