Despite the anxiety roiling America’s markets, lawmakers on Capitol Hill refuse to curb their insatiable appetite for pork barrel spending.
With the federal government set to run out of money on October 1 (the beginning of the new fiscal year), they just keep larding pork on to the continuing resolution, which is the temporary spending legislation that would keep government doors open.
AP reports that
The legislation is coming together in a remarkably secretive process in which decisions are concentrated in the hands of just a few lawmakers such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis.
The unusual process means thousands of lawmakers’ pet projects…would escape scrutiny, including up to $5 billion worth of such “earmarks” in the defense budget alone.
The president has threatened to veto bills that curb earmarks, but given his propensity to sign just about anything and everything that arrives on his desk, don’t hold your breath waiting for a veto pen to materialize.
It all depends on how desperate President George W. Hoover Bush is to ram his $700 billion (or should that be a dollar sign followed by “∞,” the infinity symbol?) banker bailout bill through Congress.
Speaking of shameless porkers, jury selection in the corruption trial of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens is underway here in the nation’s capital. The Los Angeles Times reports that prosecutors are hoping to enter into evidence a telephone conversation between two businessmen in which they discuss the curmudgeonly lawmaker’s views about having to open his own wallet. One caller said, “Ted gets hysterical when he has to spend his own money,” to which the other caller responded, “I know.” If that’s all the prosecutors have on Stevens, it’s going to be a short trial.