Pigs apparently do fly, though Congress anyway. This article is an excellent reminder of how our legislators use our own money to buy us off. Note that it's Republicans doing the using budget appropriations as a stick in this case, but Democrats did the exact same thing when they were in power. The end result is that no one is willing to challenge anyone else's pork because they can't risk failing to bring home the bacon to their own district.
Many House Democrats are expected to vote for the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill today to secure the earmarks they were denied last year as punishment for voting “no.”Actually, that's a pretty noble goal. If only it were minus 2%.
They say they are only voting for the bill because of a “whispering campaign” of intimidation that special projects for their districts — for schools, sewers and the like — would be stripped from the bill in conference if they vote against it.
Republicans scoff at the idea that it’s a whispering campaign, saying its an explicit threat and a political reality. ...
Republicans say they are merely following a time-honored appropriations tradition that rewards lawmakers for supporting appropriations bills and punishes those who do not — regardless of party affiliation.
But they clearly relish the prospect of receiving significant support from Democrats for a bill that has only a 2 percent overall spending increase in an election year.
Democrats said they opposed last year’s package, which had a 4 percent increase, because of funding shortfalls.
“It would be foolish to say that last year’s precedent wasn’t weighing on members’ minds,” said Hoyer, who also deplored last year’s bill for denying the roughly 130 million Americans who are represented by Democrats in Congress from receiving their share of the federal pie.Argh! The whole "federal pie" was taken from us in the first place! Just stop taking it and you won't have to argue about how to redistribute it!
Meanwhile, non-appropriating Republicans maintained that the same rules applied to them.Do you see how they view our money? It's just a tool they use to get re-elected. Disgusting.
“I don’t think it’s right for people to take a tough vote and not to get anything in return,” said Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), “or to vote against it and then take credit back home. That’s a little disingenuous.”