Kevin Drum, on the news that Democrats plan to cut off earmarking:
The announcement was made last night by the incoming chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, who also said they would impose a moratorium on new congressional earmarks, targeted appropriations for special projects in members’ home districts. None would be part of the proposed funding resolution, killing hundreds that are pending in the unfinished spending bills.
Since most of the earmarks are probably slated for Republican districts, this is both good policy and good politics.
This might have some short-term drawbacks (The Democrats don’t want your district to get those much-needed highway improvements) but, overall, I believe Kevin’s right. This wouldn’t be a problem for Republicans if they had actually, you know, finished this year’s business. Instead, they’re leaving the spending bills to the Democrats, trying to slow down the incoming majority party when January rolls around.