Yesterday, I interviewed Texas U.S. Senate Candidate Ted Cruz. In going back through the interview, I'm struck by the first thing he said. Ted Cruz wants to serve on the Appropriations committee.
This is an unexpected and pleasant surprise.
Delivering spending reductions at any level of government, but especially the Federal, is tricky. Reducing Spending requires mastering complex budget processes that are deliberately designed to bore normal people. The respective House and Senate Appropriations committees are where individual members exercise maximum leverage over the budget.
For example, the reason Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair law has succeeded so spectacularly in Wisconsin is because Gov. Walker mastered the boring details of process. When the unions offered to give Scott Walker some financial concessions in exchange for maintaining their corrupt bargaining protections, Walker wisely said no. Scott Walker understood that dismantling the unions corrupt bargaining protections was a more important reform than temporary financial concessions.
When Ted Cruz says, "most people want to serve on Approps to spend money...and I'd like to serve on Appropriations to lead the fight to dramatically reduce the size, power, and spending of the Federal Government and to stop appropriating money beyond our means" that's huge. It indicates that Ted Cruz has already given thought to the boring process details that are key to long-term spending reductions. Dismantling Federal Spending will require a pain in the ass Senator (or two) (or three) on the Appropriations committee; Ted Cruz is obviously prepared to be that pain in the ass.
One factor that has consistently impressed me about Ted Cruz is his knowledge of boring process in the U.S. Senate. Ted Cruz understands that Congress needs to flex it's atrophied Constitutional muscles, and he understands how to do so effectively. The Appropriations committee is just one example of this fact.
As Texans consider which U.S. Senate Candidate will deliver on their promises to dismantle Federal intrusion into Texas, Ted Cruz has already figured out many of the boring process details.