Biden Swears Off Pork, Switches to “Related Porcine Based Food Products”
It’s been a while since we last visited the movable feast for GOP enthusiasts currently running for Vice President on the Democratic ticket. Joe Biden’s name popped back up on my radar in connection with the recent $630B spending bill currently making its way through Congress. The bill itself doesn’t contain much in the way of raising my eyebrows, but it was quickly latched on to by the usual seekers of pork. The more surprising note here is that Joe Biden decided to strap on the old government feed bag once again.
WASHINGTON — A $630 billion spending bill nearing final approval in Congress includes $6.6 billion for thousands of lawmakers’ pet projects, including $51.5 million requested by Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden…
This is just politically tone deaf. John McCain continued his career long pattern of eschewing earmark requests, and was joined this year in that pledge by Barack Obama. (A recent convert to the cause, once his bid for the White House began to look real.) One would have thought that Biden would be quick to make sure that his name wasn’t attached to any of these requests, as it takes the air out of Obama’s new found pledge to cut back on the pork.
Before anyone gets riled up over this, we shall note the one specific earmark mentioned in the article.
Among other items, Biden and four others were able to secure $3.2 million for second-generation cold-weather clothing for the military, the bill shows.
Sure, the development of protective gear for the troops sounds like an admirable cause. Frankly, I’m not one of those people who thinks that all earmarks need to be eliminated, and I find McCain’s pledge to veto any bill with so much as one request on it to be a tad bit overboard. There are some cases where an earmark is the only way to quickly approve funding for special items such as Congressional investigations. But we definitely do need to reduce them severely and make sure that what earmarks do exist are clearly labeled for consideration as to who requested the funds and what they will be used for. But both in terms of political reality and sensibilities toward an increasingly angry and intolerant public who are sick of Washington spending, this was a boneheaded move by Biden and critics of the Obama campaign should rightly call them out on it.