Government

Ashley Hinson gets 'stellar' assignment to House Budget Committee

'We can't continue to abuse taxpayers,' freshman Iowa congresswoman says

Ashley Hinson speaks with journalists Nov. 4 in Cedar Rapids after her win in Iowa's 1st Congressional District race. Hi
Ashley Hinson speaks with journalists Nov. 4 in Cedar Rapids after her win in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District race. Hinson defeated one-term incumbent Democrat Abby Finkenauer. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

It was no secret that U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson was gunning for a seat on the U.S. House Committee on the Budget.

Hinson, a Republican just starting her first two-year term for Iowa’s 1st District, said in her election night acceptance speech in November she was hoping to be named to Budget, a standing committee in both chambers of Congress that oversees the federal budgeting process.

On Wednesday, she was officially named one of 12 House Republicans on the committee, with additional members to be named later, according to House Republicans. Democrats, who control the House and the committee, named 21 members to Budget on Tuesday.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley is a longtime Republican Budget Committee member on the Senate side, where Republicans also now are in the minority.

“It’s a stellar committee assignment,” Hinson said in a phone call Wednesday morning with the Courier.

The announcement follows last week’s news of Hinson being named to the House Appropriations Committee, a prestige committee assignment that political experts say shows House Republicans are positioning Hinson for success.

“That’s significant that she’s on both of those,” said Christopher Larimer, associate professor of political science at the University of Northern Iowa. “By putting her on those two committees, it immediately raises her profile within the party. That’s something she can use on the campaign trail.”

U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra of Iowa’s 4th District also was named to Budget. He and Hinson are two of eight freshmen on the Republican side of the committee.

“What I think it speaks to is the strength of our freshman class,” Hinson said, adding she thought the new voices would “add perspective to that committee.”

Hinson also is one of seven Republicans on the committee who won their election with less than a 60 percent majority. She beat former U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer with 51.2 percent of the vote, the tightest electoral margin of those seated on Budget.

Hinson said she thinks she was named to the committee because of her background on an appropriations subcommittee in the Iowa Legislature.

“The number one reason I ran for office was to be a hawk for taxpayers. That seems to have gotten lost in Washington, D.C.,” Hinson said. “We need to remember who we work for and really consider all these decisions right now.”

In a news release from her office, Hinson said she would work through both Budget and Appropriations committees to “reform our broken spending system,” and has criticized some spending proposals by President Joe Biden.

“I will use this position to help rein in Washington’s out-of-control spending habits and check Democrats’ efforts to fund a liberal wish list on the taxpayers’ dime,” Hinson said in the release. “Iowans are tired of the way Washington overspends their money with no accountability or transparency.”

She said in a phone call that’s true even as the economy continues to reel from the coronavirus pandemic.

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“My number one job is to get them the relief they need, but I think it’s important we’re cognizant of the spending on the bottom line,” Hinson said. “We can’t continue to abuse taxpayers this way.”

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