'Disappropriations' Chairman Hal Rogers says cuts are necessary but can still be frustrating

04/22/2011 03:10 PM

U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, who has represented Kentucky’s 5th District since 1981, finally reached his goal of becoming chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee in January.

But it came at a time that Congress is spending most of its time scrambling to cut spending rather than figuring out where to spend federal dollars.

Rogers, of Somerset, acknowledged that the job hasn’t been all that he had hoped, particularly with being able to direct federal funds and resources to Kentucky or to combat problems like drug abuse.

“Plus, we can’t do earmarks,” Rogers said. “Yes, it’s frustrating and tough. I’ve even renamed my committee the Disappropriations Committee because all we’re doing is having to cut in order to get some savings made. But we have to do that. We’re borrowing 42 cents of every dollar we spend.”

In a wide-ranging interview with Pure Politics this week, Rogers discussed the federal budget, the prescription pill problem that has plagued his district and his thoughts on some other suggested reforms, such as Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s proposal aimed at Social Security.

- Ryan Alessi

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