May 13, 2007

porkbustersnewsm.jpgPORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Meet the new boss, yada yada yada:

Such is life in Washington, where members of Congress still don’t get it.

Voters sent a clear message last November when they flipped 30 seats in the House and another six in the Senate, handing control to Democrats. Congress’s love affair with pork-barrel projects — and the secrecy associated with them — was viewed as a defining factor in the election.

Yet today, six months after the elections, the Senate still has not enacted rules making earmarks transparent. Democrats have repeatedly rebuffed efforts by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) despite promises to govern more openly.

In the House, Democrats have had difficulty following a new set of earmark rules adopted earlier this year. When an intelligence spending bill came up last week, Democrats hadn’t even told the ranking committee Republican, Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), about pork projects in the bill, let alone other members or the public.

But the Democrats’ shenanigans aren’t nearly as surprising as some Republican failures on the issue. Shortly after the White House vowed to veto the pork-filled agriculture supplemental spending bill last Thursday, three Republicans — Reps. Greg Walden (Ore.), Mike Simpson (Idaho) and Denny Rehberg (Mont.) — not only spoke in favor of the bill, they condemned President Bush for opposing it.

Term limits, which I used to view with skepticism, are looking much more appealing.

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