Politicians kept budget vows, now try to keep jobs

Associated Press
FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2011 file photo, Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Mich. speaks on Mackinac Island, Mich. Shortly after the newly elected Benishek arrived in Washington, staffers raised a banner in his Capitol Hill suite that proclaimed: "If you are here to ask for more money, you're in the wrong office!" The message was fitting for a tea party favorite who had railed against federal spending and a “nanny-state mentality” during the 2010 campaign that led to Republican takeover of the House. But it was something new for his constituents in northern Michigan, a largely rural area where a spirit of self-reliance coexists with the reality that government _ popular or not _ is a crucial economic player. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Some of the tea party Republicans elected to Congress two years ago are seeing their beliefs put to the test as they campaign for second terms.

They're caught between their promises to rein in government spending and the demands of constituents who had grown accustomed to money and projects being steered back home.

In Michigan, freshman Dan Benishek has drawn criticism for voting to cut rural airline subsidies and failing to seek continued federal funding of an Olympic scholarship program in his district.

His Democratic opponent says Benishek is putting ideology ahead of his constituents' needs.

Benishek says voters sent him to Washington to reduce the deficit and that's what he's trying to do.