February 20, 2006

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON writes that porkbusting is going bipartisan:

A number of new Congressional proposals have put “earmarks” in the crosshairs. Earmarks are the pet spending items members of Congress request — and which are often slipped into massive appropriations bills behind closed conference committee doors or in the dead of night. These projects are currently not subject to individual up-or-down votes.

And while there are many other areas — including tax and regulatory reform — that would save taxpayers exponentially more than earmark reform, bringing transparency and accountability to this process is an important area where strange ideological bedfellows can join forces.

And this remains for me the most interesting thing about the moves to slice the pork: the way they cut across party lines. Among the competing anti-pork legislation currently jockeying for position in Congress is a Senate bill proposed by John McCain and Tom Coburn and cosponsored by Russ Feingold and Evan Bayh, another introduced by Trent Lott and Diane Feinstein, and a House bill cosponsored by Republican Jeff Flake and Democrat Harold Ford.

The bills vary in scope, strictness and the degree of transparency they require, but they all recognize that something needs to be done to derail the corporate welfare gravy train.

You know something interesting is afoot when Tom Coburn and Barack Obama — and in the blogosphere, TruthLaidBear and Instapundit — are all pushing the same issue.

She’s right that Bush has been fairly limp on this, too.

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