According to a blog post on the Wichita Eagle's Web page, Congresswoman Nancy Boyda has managed to secure $26 million in new federal investments into the state of Kansas.
Boyda ranks behind Republican Kansas Senators Sam Brownback ($48 million) and Pat Roberts ($27 million) in money directed to the state. But the entire delegation was far behind Republican Representative Todd Tihart (KS-3), who managed to earmark some $56 million in projects.
Lots of really silly debate has occurred regarding earmarks, and I think one item needs to be drilled home: none of the money requested by Congresswoman Boyda increases the size of the federal budget. The earmarks simply direct how already budgeted monies will be spent. So, the actions of the delegation mean already budgeted money will be spent in Kansas instead of, say, New Jersey or California. I, for one, think that is exactly what our representatives in Congress should be doing.
Note: Congresswoman Boyda took the unusual step of releasing all of her earmark requests in June- one of the only members to do so. I'd like to pull out the following quote:
"Since January, I have been meeting with constituents to talk about the programs in their communities they feel need federal funds. [...]To people outside of the district, and outside the state, some of Nancy Boyda's requests don't matter at all, but, I could guarantee, they matter to the people asked her to request them.
There are many pressures on the federal budget, and with the passage of the new “pay as you go” rules instituted by the Democrats in Congress, it will be harder and harder to pay for new programs without finding the corresponding savings from other programs. Therefore, it is likely that only a few of these projects will ultimately receive earmarked funding. Still, I consider each one important to people in the Second District of Kansas, and I am proud to support these programs in Congress."