November 21, 2005

porkbustersnewsm.jpgPORKBUSTERS UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal has an editorial on the anti-pork movement:

Amid the carnage, however, there was one small triumph last week: Senate Appropriations powerhouse Ted Stevens decided to pull funding for the infamous $320 million “Bridge to Nowhere” in his home state of Alaska. For those joining this story in progress, the proposed project would have connected Ketchikan, Alaska with remote Gravina Island (population 50). . . .

One recent poll found that more Americans know about the Bridge to Nowhere than know who their local Congressman is. Which, given Congress’s 30% approval rating, is probably the way most Members prefer it these days. The one hero of this episode is Senator Tom Coburn (R., Okla.), who sponsored an amendment to block funding for the bridge and use the money to repair vital bridges on the Gulf Coast destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. . . .

It would be nice to think that this bridge humiliation would teach Congress about the folly of spending earmarks. The uproar has done enormous damage to the GOP majority’s public image, which is of course why Mr. Stevens blew up his bridge. But, alas, apparently this is merely a symbolic and tactical spending retreat. Late last week, GOP House leaders suffered another defeat on the floor when a health and education spending bill failed to pass. One reason? Twenty or so GOP Members were angry that their special projects had been stripped from the legislation to save money. The bridge that these folks are building is one to being called “Mr. Ranking Member.”

Or, let’s hope, Mr. Former Member.

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