Paul defends requests for special projects
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul on Sunday defended his efforts in Congress to bring home money to his Texas district, despite his long-held aversion to big government and congressional votes to reign in federal spending.
“I’ve never voted for an earmark in my life,” the Texas congressman said under questioning on NBC’s “Meet the Press” about reports that he has requested hundreds of millions of dollars for special projects in his home district.
“I put them in because I represent people who are asking for some of their money back,” said Paul, who likened it to taking a tax credit. “I’m against the tax system, but I take all my tax credits. I want to get their money back for the people.”
The 10-term congressman and longshot candidate for the Republican presidential nomination added that although he has requested special projects known as earmarks, he ultimately ends up voting against them in the House. Paul is known in Congress as “Dr. No” for his votes against some types of government spending, including a medal for Pope John Paul II and civil rights leader Rosa Parks because of the cost to taxpayers. For his home state, however, Paul has sought money for water projects, a nursing program, to expand a hospital cancer center and to promote Texas shrimp.
Just last week, President Bush complained about thousands of earmarks in a massive spending bill Congress sent to him. Published in The Messenger 12.26.07