Hatch to Chaffetz: Use caution in fighting earmarks

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SALT LAKE CITY -- One of Utah's senior senators says Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz should be careful when it comes to fighting earmarks.

Chaffetz has taken a strong stance against the practice, saying earmarks are tough to justify when the nation's debt is so high. He was the only federal lawmaker from Utah to abstain from earmarks in 2009 and says he plans to do so again this year.

Sen. Orrin Hatch tells the Salt Lake Tribune he respects that decision, but says Chaffetz should understand earmarks aren't all bad. Hatch says local communities often depend on them for legitimate projects, and ignoring them could leave a lot of areas without federal funding.

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