Partisan Pork-Slaughter


Sure, major-party politicians bicker like four-year-olds, but when it comes time to tucking in the last bits of pork on spending bills, "By tradition, the projects have been divided fairly evenly between Republicans and Democrats," regardless of whether they voted for the measure, according to a fascinating Washington Post article today. Well, no more: The House approved a $138 billion spending bill on July 10, despite all 198 Democrats in the room voting against it, and now Rep. Ralph Regula (R-Ohio), chair of the House Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on education, health and jobs programs, says the Democrats' contribution to the bill's whopping 1,859 "local projects" (costing $896 million), will be rejected. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) calls it an "abuse of power," and the Post seems to find Regula's behavior untoward:

Now those local projects, along with hundreds of others in districts represented by House Democrats, are jeopardized by an unusually nasty political battle that threatens to upset the traditional bipartisan comity of the House Appropriations Committee. [?]

The fight threatens to polarize a committee that has been an "oasis of decency and sanity," said Allen Schick, a fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Thanks to reader Ray Eckhart for the pointer.