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Spin Control

Wed., Aug. 31, 2011, 11:37 a.m.

Spokesman clarifies McMorris Rodgers votes on block grants

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is on the record supporting the Community Development Block Grant program, yet she voted for a bill in February that would have slashed that spending by about 62 percent.

Why? We were unable to interview her or her spokesman yesterday for today's article on block grant funding. Today, we reached McMorris Rodgers spokesman, Todd Winer. He explained that the bill she voted for "was not going to become law."

"It was to keep the process moving," he said.

Asked if that meant she voted for a bill that she didn't support, Winer said McMorris Rodger, in fact, did support it. He noted that the block grant program was one small portion of the budget bill. He said that given the massive federal debt some good programs may have to face cuts to avoid "a Greek-like debt crisis in the next few years."

"She thought the entire bill was moving us in a positive direction," Winer said. "The most important thing for her was to get a bill to reduce the total amount of government spending."

The final budget deal, which McMorris Rodgers also voted for, cut the block grant program by about 16 percent.

The budget votes in the early part of the year were made in the shadow of a potential government shutdown (as opposed to the budget votes this summer that were made in the shadow of a potential government default).

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.