Democrats tidying up a cluster of unfinished spending bills dumped on them by departing Republican leaders in Congress will start by removing billions of dollars in lawmakers' pet projects next month.
The move, orchestrated by the incoming chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations committees, could prove politically savvy even as it proves unpopular with other members of Congress, who as a group will lose thousands of so-called earmarks.
"There will be no congressional earmarks," Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., and Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., said Monday in a statement announcing their plans, which were quickly endorsed by incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D- Nev.
Can it be? The king of pork wants to curtail it? Maybe he figures he can stop now that everything in West Byrd-ginia is named after him, he can stop? One can only hope...
Obey and Byrd said lawmakers could re-apply for home-state projects next year when Congress turns to the fiscal 2008 budget cycle _ after reforms of the earmarking process are put in place.