Gaetz: Ryan blocked return to earmarks [podcast]

My guest on “Pensacola Speaks” yesterday was our newly-elected Congressman, Matt Gaetz. He discussed what he has been doing the pass two weeks since his election.

He shared, “The easy part is over, Rick. Now we got to actually go govern.”

Gaetz said he is impressed with the attitude of House Republicans.

“There’s a renewed enthusiasm. There’s real accountability. There’s no one to point the finger at. Republicans in Washington will either start solving our country’s problems or the voters will throw us out with good reason. I’m eager to be a part of that new ethic, that desire to really roll up our sleeves and get to work.”

Florida does not have a representative on the House Armed Services Committee for the upcoming session. He wants that to change.

“One area where I want to have focus is rebuilding our nation’s military and taking care of our veterans, and that’s why I’m working hard to get on the Armed Services Committee,” said Gaetz.

He shared a behind-the-scenes look into Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s leadership.

“We had a conference meeting, and there were some Republicans who were pushing to reinstall provisions of the earmark system, where people in Congress could direct funding to specific items in their districts.

Republicans got rid of earmarks after a number of scandals and misuses of funds and there were some that thought well, we got control now, so let’s give ourselves the earmark power back.

I was so proud that Paul Ryan stood before the conference and said, ‘We will not be doing this. We have been given the trust of the people and we will behave in every way worthy of that trust.’

Just from the outset, I thought that set the right tone.”