January 15, 2007

KEEPING KOSHER:

Conservatives see validation in fight over 'pork' (Donald Lambro, January 14, 2007, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

Led by South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, conservative Republicans overcame initial opposition from Democratic leaders to a broader definition of pork in a rules change that will require full disclosure from each lawmaker who sponsors so-called "earmark" provisions.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada had wanted a narrower definition of pork, which Mr. DeMint and his supporters said would have only applied to 5 percent of the billions of dollars in pork-barrel spending that Congress approves each year.

After Republicans, with the help of a handful of Democrats, beat back an attempt to table or kill the DeMint amendment, Mr. Reid refused to move to a final vote Thursday -- an attempt that triggered an outcry from Republicans and conservative bloggers.

When the smoke cleared Friday after a bitter two-day exchange of charges and countercharges, Mr. Reid agreed to an "earmark disclosure that is even stronger than what I had originally proposed," Mr. DeMint said.

It was a strategic victory for Republicans, who had lost the support of many fiscally conservative voters angered by the pork-ridden bills the Republican Congress enacted over the past several years. A number of Republican state chairmen said pork-barrel spending was one of the reasons behind the party's House and Senate losses in November's midterm elections.

"American citizens want to see earmarking come to an end, and now that they have to put their names to it, the real question is, will this stop earmarking? Have we really accomplished much?" said Ron Carey, chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party.

Of course not--it's only pork if your constituents aren't getting it, which is wny the minority party is always shrieking: "Treif!".

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 15, 2007 8:56 AM
Comments

In politics perception becomes reality. As long as the GOP appears to be fighting against pork (which they weren't even trying the last 10 years or so) they will keep the fiscal conservatives happy.

And this is a plus for Romney as DeMint gains stature in SC that outweighs McCain's boy Graham.

Posted by: AWW at January 15, 2007 10:21 AM
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