Byrd Agrees to Give Up West Virginia Pork Projects
The King of Pork is going on a diet.
Sen. Robert Byrd has built a reputation in Congress and in West Virginia using special interest funding to bring federal jobs and money home, but the king of pork said he’s willing to give up his projects for 2007 to find a way out of the ” fiscal chaos” left by the outgoing Republican-led Congress.
Byrd, incoming chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and his House counterpart Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin outlined their plan late Monday to pass a yearlong stopgap spending bill to keep government programs and agencies functioning until Sept. 30, 2007. To expedite the process, Byrd and Obey said they would eliminate earmarks — funding inserted into bills by lawmakers for projects in their district or states — from the unfinished budget.
In a joint statement, Byrd and Obey said, “There are no good options available to us to complete the unfinished work of the Republican Congress. There will be no congressional earmarks in the joint funding resolution that we will pass. We will place a moratorium on all earmarks until a reformed process is put in place.”
We’ll see if Byrd and company figure out a way to get their pork in through the back door. But this is a welcome start, at least, down the path of cleaning up the process.