Speaking of fiscal irresponsibility, the Senate on Wednesday passed a $106 billion transportation bill — so larded up that the president has threatened to wield his veto pen.
Of course, the measure spreads the slop around thick enough that the Senate will have no difficulty coming up with the 67 votes needed to revive the bill should Mr. Bush follow through.
Earmark reform? Hardy har har.
Sen. Tom Coburn, the taxpayer’s five-star general in the war against pork, was again last seen recovering in a M*A*S*H unit. The Oklahoma Republican tried to eliminate a $500,000 earmark for a minor-league ballpark in Montana and a $450,000 appropriation to repair buildings at the International Peace Garden in North Dakota.
He was trampled, 63-32. That came just a day after Sen. Coburn lost 80-18 in an effort to kill the bill’s funding for bike paths.
Good thing Sen. Coburn glossed over Nevada’s share of dubious loot, secured by Sens. Harry Reid and John Ensign. In addition to setting aside money for a handful of Silver State earmarks that are at least ostensibly related to road-building — $3 million to add lanes to state Route 160, for instance — the transportation bill includes $200,000 for the Post Office Museum in Las Vegas, $400,000 to build a training center for convention service workers and $1 million for an adult day care center at the Nathan Adelson Hospice in Henderson.
Great causes all, no doubt.
But even a little home cooking can’t mask the stench wafting from the pigsty.