Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Paring Back the Pork

According to the Washington Post:
Democratic leaders declared a temporary moratorium on special-interest provisions known as earmarks as they attempt to cope with a budget crisis left by the outgoing Republican-led 109th Congress.

That is certainly a welcome development. It's hard to believe this is going to be a long-term policy change, of course. It is also mentioned that:
The new chairmen, Rep. David R. Obey (Wis.) and Sen. Robert C. Byrd (W.Va.), said in a statement: "While the results will be far from ideal, this path provides the best way to dispose of the unfinished business quickly, and allow governors, state and local officials, and families to inally plan for the coming year with some knowledge of what the federal government is funding."

They also said they would place a moratorium on all earmarks until lobbying changes are enacted. Those special spending provisions included in the unfinished fiscal 2007 bills will be eligible for consideration next year, the chairmen said, subject to new standards.
So, pork will be back as soon as they fiddle with lobbying rules. But it does seem like the Democrats recognize the importance of this issue, and are trying to use it to their advantage, which is to everyone's benefit if they follow through.

No comments: