Friday, October 21, 2005

Feingold and Bayh Say No to Pork

Senators Russ Feingold and Evan Bayh get a lot of love here at 1832 as Zach Corey interned for Feingold's Senate re-elect in 2004, and I interned for Bayh's All America PAC in Washington, DC this past summer. Yesterday, both of these fine "middle America" Senators proved not only why they are loved but the 1832 blog staff, but why they are loved in their respective states, and also show why both will make excellent candidates for President of the United States. So what exactly did they do? As Zach Corey would say (and my Feingold 2004 t-shirt shows on the back), they both have backbone.

Yesterday these Senators from Wisconsin and Indiana stood up and joined only 13 other Senators in saying, "no to spending tax-payer money on bridges to nowhere, pet projects, and pork!"

Senators Feingold and Bayh were the only 2008 Dem potentials that voted for Republican Senator Tom Coburn's amendment that would have removed $125 million of pork out of the federal highways bill to be used to pay for the repairs need to fix the Twin Spans Bridge that crossed over Lake Pontchartrian, which had sustained heavy damage from Hurricane Katrina. Sadly, the so called "conservative" candidates for President in 2008 were almost a complete no show on this bill with Senators Frist, Hagel and Brownback all voting for pork and against the amendment (Senator McCain did not vote and Allen was the only one to vote for it).

But who can blame them? I mean they were just following the example of President Bush. I'm sure they said, "if he can give personal favors to his friends, why can't we? If he says we can pay for Katrina, the War in Iraq, and everything else under the sun without really trying to balance the budget, can't we say the same thing? If President Bush can say and do all of that, and still be labeled "fiscally conservative", we can still call ourselves that too, right?"

If that's your definition of "fiscally conservative" sure call yourselves that, just don't call yourself "fiscally responsible" that term is reserved for Democratic Senators Bayh, Feingold and Conrad (Landrieu can't be counted in this because she has an obvious interest other than fiscal responsibility), and the 11 Republican Senators that voted for this amendment.

The amendment and thus the call for fiscal responsibility failed 15-82.

(Yes I am aware of the large number of Democrats that voted against this too)