Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Power corrupts

On June 25, by an astonishing vote of 326 to 88, the GOP-controlled body rejected the Family Budget Protection Act, which would have removed the bias toward greater spending inherent in the current Congressional budget process. Even among Republicans, the bill lost 131 to 88. The Members also nixed the Spending Control Act, a less ambitious bill that Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle championed to impose spending caps, by a vote of 248 to 146.

Most of the credit for this repudiation of GOP principle belongs to the so-called College of Cardinals, the chairmen of the 13 Appropriations subcommittees and protectors of sacred pork, who threatened their fellow Republicans with legislative excommunication if they voted for the reforms sponsored by some very brave GOP backbenchers. Specifically, they vowed to zero out all pork projects for their districts.
The willingness of these porkophilic Republicans to go on the record like this demonstrates total contempt for their grassroots. Mark my words, this will come back to bite them in the 2006 primaries. The fratricide will be especially intense if Bush loses.

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