A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

U.S. Rep. Candice Miller

A U.S. Representative who opposed almost 70 percent of amendments to strip out spending or "pork" in certain congressional bills said she is swearing off putting earmarks on her own bills for a year.

The Club for Growth tracked 68 amendments to strip pork from bills and found that Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township, voted for them only 31 percent of the time in its 2009 RePORK Card. The organization reports that six members of Congress from Michigan — including one Democrat — had a higher score than Miller. Overall, 22 of 435 U.S. House members recorded a 100 percent, a perfect score, voting in favor of all the anti-pork amendments.

Miller said the report was not a true picture of her conservative voting record.

Miller read about the report in a Jan. 28 article by Ken Braun in Michigan Capitol Confidential. She sent an e-mail Friday defending her voting record, saying that the Club for Growth had "cherry-picked" certain votes and was arbitrary.

Miller said she voted against the TARP Wall Street bailout twice, against the $787 billion stimulus bill, against the cap-and-trade energy tax bill and against President Barack Obama's health care reform.

"I voted many, many times for amendments that would have cut almost $100 billion from the overall budget," Miller wrote. "Yet some 'grading' groups are citing me for failing on votes about a couple of million dollars of specific earmarks."

Jamie Roe, Miller's chief of staff, said not all earmarks are "wasteful pork spending."

He said one of Miller's earmarks paid for real-time water quality monitoring of the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair.

"That is not pork," Roe said.

Roe said Miller is changing her stance on earmarks because of recent changes in the rules that limit debate and the ability to strike some earmarks from bills.

"The system is flawed," Roe said. "She agrees we have a huge spending problem in this country that we need to get control of."

Central Michigan University economist Jason Taylor explains how raising the minimum wage will hurt teen workers trying to find their first job. See more at "Raising the Minimum Wage, Lowering Opportunity."


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