Jack Kingston jumps into race for chairman of House Appropriations Committee

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah came out into the open today with his intra-party campaign to become the next chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

He sent the letter below to members of the Republican caucus.

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah. AP

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah. AP

Among Republicans, Kingston is four or fifth in seniority on the committee – and his success could depend on whether a waiver is granted to Jerry Lewis of California, who has already served as chairman. GOP rules prohibit a second try.

I’ve placed in bold what may be Kinston’s best selling point – that with tough budget cuts to come, he would be capable of explaining them to a broad audience. To wit:

Dear Colleague:

I am writing to announce my decision to run for Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and to ask for your support. I believe I could be helpful in this position for a number of reasons.

Primarily, I am a committed conservative with a long track record to prove it. My lifetime score with the American Conservative Union is 96%. I’ve got perfect ratings from FreedomWorks and Eagle Forum, an 89% from the Club for Growth and 95% from Americans for Prosperity.

As Chairman of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee when Republican spending was at its worst, I cut the budget by 1% (not a decrease of the increase). I also introduced a number of reforms such as privatizing the power plant, reining in the runaway spending at the Capitol Visitors Center, and stopping the explosion in the Capitol Police force. In that year, I was ranked the most conservative member of the House by National Journal.

In 2007, I introduced the first major earmark reform bill with Frank Wolf and Zach Wamp. This bill (H Con Res 263) had 160 cosponsors including most members of the Appropriations Committees as well as the Republican Study Committee and all members of leadership. It garnered a range of support from members like Chris Shays to Jeff Flake. This bill called for a moratorium on earmarks coupled with bipartisan hearings to define and reform them.

Outside of the Appropriations Committee, I worked with Democrats and Republicans alike to draft energy legislation, such as the DRIVE Act (HR 670), which brought together conservatives like John Campbell and Sam Brownback with then-Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I have stayed true to my conservative values but have a good working relationship with committee Democrats.

Finally, I have been an active communicator. Each week, I have had the honor of hosting Theme Team which brings in media personalities like Bob Schieffer, Joe Scarborough, Bill Kristol, Karl Rove, Fred Barnes and more. I have built personal relationships with many of them. I have also appeared on more liberal outlets like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Real Time with Bill Maher, and Hardball with Chris Matthews. I established one of the first blogs in Congress and have been awarded the Pollie Award and the Golden Dot Award for my efforts.

I have learned that you can play both offense and defense with the press. For example, I introduced the first legislation to drive the czar issue, the Czar Accountability and Reform Act (HR 3226), and produced a video that got more than 17,000 hits on YouTube.

I would greatly appreciate your support and look forward to talking to you in the coming days.


Jack Kingston

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11 comments Add your comment

Dick in Gainesville

November 19th, 2010
2:34 pm

If Jerry Lewis gets the chairmanship, we will know there is NO difference between the Republican & Democratic party when it comes to wasting the taxpayer’s money. Kingston may not be perfect but he is much better than Lewis.

Ostrich Racer

November 19th, 2010
3:02 pm

Ummm — I think that might’ve been Bill KRISTOL. That, or the Congressman’s been doing interviews on “Fernando’s Hideaway” (”You look mahvalous, Jackie — and I mean that….”)


November 19th, 2010
3:06 pm

Uh-oh. He ADMITS talking to Democrats, and even working with them! Off with his head!


November 19th, 2010
3:07 pm

Who cares? Without earmarks, he can’t really do anything for Georgia.

Retired Soldier

November 19th, 2010
3:45 pm


Maybe Kingston should be concerned with what is best for America. Just thinkin…

Last Man Standing

November 19th, 2010
4:56 pm

Retired Soldier

“Maybe Kingston should be concerned with what is best for America. Just thinkin…”

That is what this last election was about . . . what is best for America. It does little good if the ship steward fixes you up with the nicest deck chair if the ship is sinking. I can see little difference in the “entitlement mentality” and the “earmark mentality”.

Those elected in this previous election had better act in the interests of America if they wish to be re-elected.


November 19th, 2010
6:27 pm

@ Dick in Gainesville::: I know very little about Jack Kingston but I agree with your assessment of Jerry Lewis. However, if we hold out for perfect politicians not only will there be no committee chairs, there will be no committees. Its kinda like poker, you have to play with what your dealt.

chuck padden

November 19th, 2010
6:56 pm

Jack would be great as Appropriations Chair…I live nearby…he is a solid guy….he jogs down the street like any normal guy…no frills at all..I have voted Democrat before but not fot Jack Kingston.


November 20th, 2010
6:26 am

Some say he is a sexist and words are documented that would indicate
that possiility…Course, that fits right in with some of Georgia’s


November 20th, 2010
9:35 am

Palin-Deal in 2012! Let freedom ring.


November 20th, 2010
11:37 am

Political talk! I want earmarks for Savannah harbor everybody else give up yours!