Posted by: Scott | Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Funding Iraq and Pork (and spinach, and peanuts, and milk, and…)

Republican leaders recently criticized Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for not canceling the remainder  of Easter Break so that the House and Senate could convene together to come up with a bill for the President to sign (or veto). OK, it wasn’t just criticism, they went so far as to say that she was committing a “political stunt.” That’s almost as bad as the Vice President accusing her of participating in “bad behavior” when  Rush Limbaugh asked him about  Speaker Pelosi’s “diplomatic mission” to Syria. Have no fear though,  Madam Speaker has her drones firing back and the  Republicans’ attempts to persuade the leader of the House have been labeled a “cheap political stunt.” Maybe that’s because their opinions weren’t bought with billions of dollars of pork-barrel funds.

To rabbit-trail for a moment, actor, former Senator, and GOP Presidential contender Fred Thompson said it best when he was recently filling in for Paul Harvey:

The House’s emergency war-funding bill contains several conditions on how the war should be run. They’ll never become law but they “send signals” they say. They’re big on sending signals in Washington. But what I was really surprised to find in the bill was what looked like $25 billion in pure pork. Since a lot of the people who voted for the bill campaigned against pork, I was puzzled.

Some of the ridiculousness includes:

  • $283 Million for dairy farms
  •  $74 Million for peanut farmers
  • $25 Million for spinach farmers
  • $400 Million for rural schools
  • $300K for widows of two ex-House members
  • $80 Million for low-income rent
  • $50 Million to repair the power plant that supplies power to the Capitol

OK, back to the opening subject.  Rep. Pelosi’s people brought back the “do-nothing” label for the Republicans, saying that such criticism of not working hard or soon enough was ironic coming from them. Well, the Senate has already named negotiators for the joint conference, in fact they did so when they passed a slightly different bill than the House did. While we’re talking about do-nothingism, ironically, much of the “first 100 hours” legislation is still waiting for passage in either house of Congress, so perhaps we have another “do nothing Congress” in the works, just led by the other party.

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