Oklahoma Congressman Ernest Istook loses chairmanship of subcommittee

Friday, January 28th 2005, 6:05 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- An Oklahoma congressman is losing his chairmanship of a House subcommittee on appropriations.

Republican Representative Ernest Istook is tenth in seniority on the House Appropriations Committee but it's not enough for him to retain his chairmanship.

Istook says he's disappointed but expects to get more chairmanship opportunities in the future.

The congressman has been working to funnel millions of additional dollars into the state's transportation projects.

He says the result has been Oklahoma's loss of its donor status, meaning the state gets back more money from the federal highway trust fund than it generates in fuel tax revenue.

Istook says state and local officials should take more responsibility for funding projects. In a letter to Governor Brad Henry and other state leaders, he said they shouldn't sit back and expect Washington to help take care of the state's transportation needs.

He dismissed any link between the chairmanship loss and a dispute in which he denied funding for Amtrak to lawmakers in other states.