Republican candidate Jeff Lamberti of Ankeny is promising to push a series of federal spending reforms if he’s elected to congress. Lamberti — the G-O-P candidate in Iowa’s third congressional district which includes Des Moines, Newton and Grinnell — says it’s time for a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget.

“Pork barrel spending at the federal level is really out-of-control and the budget process needs to be fixed and it needs to be fixed now,” Lamberti says. “If we continue to allow the deficit to balloon we’re going to be passing those mistakes along to our children and grandchildren.”

Lamberti also supports giving the president the authority to reject certain items in legislation without vetoing the entire bill. It’s called line item veto authority. President Bush doesn’t have it, and Lamberti says his Democratic opponent, Congressman Leonard Boswell, has voted against letting Bush have it.

“I am for real spending reform,” Lamberti says. “I believe my opponent represents the status quo of pork barrel spending.” Lamberti also proposes getting rid of a congressional privilege known as “earmarking” which allows individual congressmen and senators to insert what Lamberti terms “pork barrel projects” in spending bills.

“It’s a process that’s simply broken,” Lamberti says, citing the “Bridge to Nowhere” in Alaska that was approved — at a two-hundred million dollar cost to taxpayers. Boswell, Lamberti’s Democratic opponent, served as a state legislator and led an effort to impose a state law that forbids state lawmakers from spending more than 99 percent of expected tax revenue.

Lamberti says Boswell’s 10-year congressional record doesn’t match that. “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem,” Lamberti says. According to Lamberti, runaway federal spending is a problem that plagues both parties, but Lamberti isn’t laying blame on Jim Nussle, the Republican candidate for governor who is chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee.

“Jim Nussle’s not running for the third congressional district,” Lamberti says. “This is a race between Jeff Lamberti and Leonard Boswell. I think we’ll keep the third district comparison to where we are on the budget reform necessary.” Lamberti is a lawyer from Ankeny who is currently the Co-President of the Iowa Senate.