Democrats Using Pork To Advance Their Iraq Policyby Doug Mataconis
This morning’s Washington Post reports that Democratic leaders are using porkbarrel projects as inducements in an effort to secure votes for bills supporting their policies in the Iraq War:
House Democratic leaders are offering billions in federal funds for lawmakers’ pet projects large and small to secure enough votes this week to pass an Iraq funding bill that would end the war next year.
So far, the projects — which range from the reconstruction of New Orleans levees to the building of peanut storehouses in Georgia — have had little impact on the tally. For a funding bill that establishes tough new readiness standards for deploying combat forces and sets an Aug. 31, 2008, deadline to bring the troops home, votes do not come cheap.
But at least a few Republicans and conservative Democrats who otherwise would vote “no” remain undecided, as they ponder whether they can leave on the table millions of dollars for constituents by opposing the $124 billion war funding bill due for a vote on Thursday.
“She hates the games the Democrats are playing,” said Guy Short, chief of staff to Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.), a staunch conservative who remains undecided, thanks to billions of dollars in the bill for drought relief and agriculture assistance. “But Representative Musgrave was just down in southeastern Colorado, talking to ranchers and farmers, and they desperately need this assistance.”
Democratic leaders say the domestic spending in the bill reflects the pent-up demand from lawmakers who last year could not win funding for programs that had bipartisan support such as disaster assistance.
Yeah, sure it does.
Say what you will about what the proper course of action in Iraq may be, but I can say quite clearly that I don’t want American foreign policy decided by which district in Iowa gets preference when it comes to farm subsidies.