The Next Phase of Porkbusters

Since the Porkbusters effort launched just five weeks ago, the blogosphere has had great success in raising the visibility of pork spending in the media and in Washington. Where just a month ago Tom Delay felt perfectly comfortable saying there was no fat left in federal budget after years of Republican rule, now, the political climate has changed, and there actually seems to be a real chance to change the culture of fiscal irresponsibility that has become the norm on Capitol Hill.
To that end, Porkbusters is shifting its focus from raising awareness of pork to calling attention to specific legislation that actually starts eliminating pork. The first bill that we are focusing on is sponsored by seven Senators who have styled themselves the “Fiscal Responsibility Team”: Tom Coburn, Sam Brownback, Jim DeMint, John Ensign, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and John Sununu.
I had the pleasure of being invited to a conference call with Senator Coburn last week. I was impressed by what appeared to me to be his sincere desire to confront the idiocy involved in our current fiscal policies, even if it meant pissing off his fellow Senators.
Last week, Coburn and six other Senators released an “offset package” aimed at identifying budget cuts to pay for hurricane relief. The key provision in the bill for our purposes is that it would elminate all “offsets” ( i.e., pork) in the highway bill — wiping away a vast chunk of pork in a single stroke.
In addition, the proposal goes further, including the following:

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