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“It sometimes borders on irresponsible to not vote for the budget,” said Sen. Donald F. Munson, who, along with Edwards, makes up one-half of the Republican membership on the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. “There is so much in that budget that applies to people’s everyday lives.”
But House Minority Whip Christopher B. Shank believes it’s more complicated than that.
“Just because you vote against a budget does not mean you vote against all of those things in a budget,” he said.
The two Washington County rivals, whose primary election showdown this fall is intensifying about 100 miles away from their district in Annapolis, traded barbs on Facebook recently over their respective budget voting records.
Munson (R-Dist. 2) of Hagerstown launched the first attack during this month’s winter storms, alleging Shank’s vote against the budget last year was a vote against snow-removal funding.
In a lengthy response on his own Facebook page, Shank (R-Dist. 2B) of Hagerstown said he was disappointed that Munson “would actually stoop to such disingenuous stunts.”
The online spat is likely a preview of a major campaign flashpoint, with Shank calling Munson’s actions fiscally irresponsible and Munson playing up the benefits his district has received due to his cooperation on the budget.
“It doesn’t make any sense for me to put so much work into a document and come out and vote against it,” Munson said. “Fact is, when that budget passes, it’s not a bloated budget. It’s pretty much bare bones where we can make it.”
Members of the budget committees who spend most of the session poring over thousands of line items take particular ownership in the final product.