To the Editor:

In 1994, Rep. Tom Latham was elected to Congress. Latham’s only committee assignment is on the Appropriations Committee. Members of the Appropriations Committee are seen as influential since they hold the power of the purse, thus making it easier to collect campaign contributions.

The Constitution delegates the power of appropriating money to Congress. The root of the Appropriations Committee’s power is in its ability to disburse funds. House Republicans have been in control of the Federal Budget for 17 of the last 19 years. If Rep. Latham wants to point to someone to blame for the rising federal budget, he just has to point to himself. Why would he want to shut down government over the fiscal decisions that his Republican-led Appropriations Committee approved? It does not make sense to approve spending decisions and then not want to pay for those decisions.

Julie Stewart