New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett better watch out now that a feisty Alaskan Congressman has threatened to bite him.
When Garrett suggested cutting $34 million in funds to The Alaska Native Education Equity Program, he faced an odd and angry response from Alaska Congressman Don Young, a fellow Republican notorious for his love of pork.
“Apparently the students in New Jersey are trying to take money from Alaskan students. Splitting state against state instead of talking about education,” said Young on the House floor. “If we continue this, we will be called biting one another, very much like the mink in my state that kill their own……….. Those that bite me will be bitten back.”
“My people have risen and become leaders because Congress saw the wisdom of providing this money, and now we have an individual from a state that doesn’t have the greatest reputation in the world trying to take money from one state and give it to another state” said Young.
Garrett unsuccessfully tried to have Young chastised for his comments. He did not offer comment, but his spokeswoman Mary MacLean told the Anchorage Daily News that the Garrett was “just fighting to put more money back into the pockets of the American taxpayer.”
Apparently Young’s slight of New Jersey wasn’t enough to make the rest of the state’s delegation vote against the earmark. All 12 voted against Garrett’s amendment.
While not condoning Young’s statement, Rep. Bill Pascrell said that the Alaskan’s work in the transportation committee had been beneficial to New Jersey.
Pascrell, who passionately defended New Jersey after North Carolina Rep. Patrick McHenry made a disparaging remark about it, said that Garrett’s anti-earmark stance was mere posturing.
“For six years Scott went along with all the earmarks put forth by a Republican legislature” said Pascrell. “He’s trying to create an image of himself that’s austere, but where the hell was he for the last six years?”
Maclean, Garrett’s spokeswoman, responded by pointing out two instances of Garrett’s calls for fiscal disciplin during the Republican majority.