Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Congress Debates: "Deal or No Deal"

With all of our pressing national problems...the price of gas, illegal immigration, Medicare going broke, Iran....what is receiving the current oratorical posturing from our legislative houses.....money, money, money, money.

The Senate is currently fighting over earmarks (those are pet set-asides geared toward maximum November election impact) for their piggiest ever "emergency" spending bill of $106.5 billion, which is meant to fund our wars in the Middle East and Gulf Coast hurricane relief.

As the Washington Post points out, "Such emergency spending measures skirt Congress's already frayed budget rules, adding directly to the deficit with no offsetting cuts required."

Your Senate in action.

On the House side, in the wake of shining a light into the infested swamp of Abramoff-type lobbyist influence, the Representatives are wrestling with a measure intended to curb lobbyists' largess, although it falls far short of draining the swamp.

This bill also addresses the issue of pet projects in funding bills by giving opponents "a new authority to move to strike individual earmarks and bring down whole bills that are too larded with pork." Sounds good to me.

But, some Democrats aren't happy with the bill because it isn't tough enough on lobbyists, while some Republicans aren't happy because it would give the Democrats too much power over earmarks.

The vote on both bills will probably come on Wednesday. Tune to C-Span for these "Deal or No Deal" reality shows .

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