Flake gets backing from Lewis to join Appropriations panel

By Vicki Needham – 11/05/10 06:17 PM ET

Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) got a nod Friday from the House Appropriations leading Republican to join the panel.

House Appropriations Committee ranking member Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.), who has voiced support for adding fiscally conservative members the panel, gave his support to Flake, a well-known budget hawk who has refused earmarks.

“There are numerous talented and capable fiscally conservative Members and incoming freshmen who would make many valuable contributions to our committee,” Lewis said today in a statement. “While these decisions will be made by the Steering Committee, I will encourage the addition of Republicans to the Appropriations Committee – including Congressman Flake – who are ready to roll up their sleeves and work with their colleagues to conduct critical and time-consuming oversight, and get down to the serious work of cutting government spending.”

Lewis, who is seeking to lead the committee but will need a waiver to do so, said the panel will “be ground-zero” in the fight to rein in government spending.

“Our new Republican majority will meet these challenges head-on, will engage in aggressive budget oversight, and enact significant spending cuts across the entire federal government,” he said.