Business as Usual

Yesterday the Senate, in its first vote of the new session, invoked cloture on S. 22, a bill the Club for Growth describes as "pork-stuffed". Senator Coburn's website details some of its features:

  • A provision that takes about 8.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 300 million barrels of oil out of production in Wyoming, according to the Bureau of Land Management. The energy resources walled off by this bill would nearly match the annual production levels of our two largest natural gas production states - Alaska and Texas.
  • $3 million for a "road to nowhere" through a wildlife refuge in Alaska.
  • $1 billion for a water project designed to save 500 salmon in California. At this price, each salmon would be worth far more than its weight in gold.
  • $3.5 million to help celebrate the 450th birthday of St. Augustine Florida, in 2015.
  • $4 million to protect livestock from wolves that Congress helped reintroduce into the wild.
  • $250,000 to help bureaucrats decide how to designate Alexander Hamilton's boyhood home.
  • $5 million on botanical gardens in Hawaii and Florida.
The details are depressing: only 12 Republicans bothered to vote against it. For Granite Staters: our new Democratic senator, Jeanne Shaheen, voted for it, as did all Democrats; our Republican senator, Judd Gregg, always making noise about fiscal responsibility, could not be bothered to show up for the vote.

Last Modified 2009-01-13 7:11 PM EST