December 14, 2006
PORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Well, I wouldn't have believed this possible:
Sen. Robert Byrd has built a reputation in Congress and in West Virginia using special interest funding to bring federal jobs and money home, but the king of pork said he's willing to give up his projects for 2007 to find a way out of the " fiscal chaos" left by the outgoing Republican-led Congress.
Byrd, incoming chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and his House counterpart Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin outlined their plan late Monday to pass a yearlong stopgap spending bill to keep government programs and agencies functioning until Sept. 30, 2007. To expedite the process, Byrd and Obey said they would eliminate earmarks -- funding inserted into bills by lawmakers for projects in their district or states -- from the unfinished budget.
Robert Byrd giving up on pork? What's next -- Chuck Schumer avoiding TV cameras? All joking aside, however, this is a big deal and the Democrats will deserve considerable praise if they deliver on these promises.