December 17, 2010


How often do omnibus spending bills go down to defeat? Approximately … never, as Dave Weigel reminds us, and pork is usually the reason why. Not only do omnibus bills appear only when the budgeting process has failed and funding becomes an urgent issue, they also get so large and stuffed with perks that few dare to challenge them.

In this case, though, earmark reformers got the edge thanks to the series of measures designed to impose transparency on pork requests. . . . this result vindicates the efforts of Porkbusters. When the outrage became high enough and transparency identified the offenders, the porkers abandoned their earmarks. As a result, we will see a reduction in spending, thanks to the new GOP majority in the House. The omnibus spending bill, chock-full of not just earmarks but funding for big-government programs, won’t be passed into law after all. Without pork, legislators will have no incentive to pass massive new spending by excusing it with self-promoting home district projects any longer, and the overall spending itself will become the focus — as it should have been all along.

The system worked. This was always going to be a long game on pork reform, and this is the first fruit of an effort started years ago.


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