March 22, 2007

porkbustersnewsm.jpgPORKBUSTERS UPDATE: USA Today editorializes:

With the House poised to vote as early as today on a $124.1 billion budget bill that would end U.S. involvement in Iraq next year, you’d think House leaders would let such a critical decision ride strictly on its merits.

But Democrats are having trouble rounding up votes for the measure. So the leaders are trying to buy votes the old-fashioned way — by luring wavering members with billions of dollars for parochial projects.

These range from providing “risk mitigation” at Mississippi’s Stennis Space Center to storage fees for peanut farmers in Georgia.

It’s hard to say which is worse: leaders offering peanuts for a vote of this magnitude, or members allowing their votes to be bought for peanuts. These provisions demean a bill that, if enacted, would affect the lives of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the balance of power in the Middle East and America’s long-term security.

The provisions also violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the new majority’s promise to cut back on “earmarks” — provisions slipped into bills that direct your tax dollars to a specific locale or politically favored project.

Last January, as soon as Democrats took control of Congress, the House passed new rules designed to curb earmarks, which had exploded under years of Republican rule. Yet here they go again, just 10 weeks later, including an assortment of dubious expenditures in “emergency” legislation to finance the war in Iraq and the wider war on terror. . . .

A spinach emergency? A peanut storage emergency?

Please.

Such arguments ignore what voters, fed up with corruption and ethical lapses, wanted when they threw Republicans out in November and helped Democrats take control of Congress.

Indeed.

UPDATE: Here’s a big roundup of the pork that’s included in this bill.

MORE: Ed Morrissey emails:

Isn’t it interesting that the Democrats — who ran on an anti-corruption, anti-war platform — now offer us a porked-up supplemental to fund the Iraq war?

Low as my expectations tend to be, they’re once again going unmet. . . .

And that the war isn’t a winning issue for the Dems is demonstrated by their eagerness — actually “desperation” is a better word — to get it off the table before November of 2008.

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