PORKBUSTERS UPDATE: John Boehner is claiming victory:
House Republicans banded together this week to force Democrats to restore GOP earmark reforms that brought real transparency and accountability to the budget process.
Faced with a united Republican Conference, the Democratic leadership backed down on their plan to hide earmarks in a series of multi-billion dollar slush funds and, effective immediately, agreed to allow Republicans to challenge wasteful spending in appropriations bills on the House floor.
As part of the deal completed after extensive negotiations that ended late today, Republicans agreed to allow two appropriations bills (Homeland Security and Military Quality of Life) â€“ bills that include few or no earmarks â€“ to move forward immediately. All 10 remaining appropriations bills will come to the floor later with their earmarks fully disclosed and subject to challenge by any lawmaker â€“ a key element of the 2006 GOP reforms.
The issue of transparency and accountability in government spending has been at the forefront of congressional action all year.
If only the Republicans had been this anti-pork last year. But then, I’ll bet they’re wishing that now, too. Still, better late than never.