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Senator’s call: Hold the pork

By Tom Fetters

No more Bridges to Nowhere?

We may get a peek next week at the future of earmarks in the U.S. Senate, with the announcement Tuesday by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., that he’ll push to change internal GOP rules to effectively ban party members from slipping pet projects into legislation — those projects have been known to include construction of roads, bridges and buildings for lawmakers’ districts.

“Americans want Congress to shut down the earmark favor factory, and next week I believe House and Senate Republicans will unite to stop pork barrel spending,” DeMint was quoted by The Associated Press as saying.

We’ll see.

A potential opponent of DeMint’s effort is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who, according to the article, is in a tough spot himself — caught between splitting the GOP over earmarks and drawing flak from tea party members who oppose earmarks and helped fuel many of the Republican election victories last week.

The showdown next week may be an early sign of just how much muscle the anti-earmark forces have in the Senate.

Tom Fetters is a copy editor at The Daily Reporter. He doesn’t even eat pork — that’s how much he can’t stand pork projects.

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