Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Porkbusters Update

John McCain has announced he will introduce a new earmark reform bill:

From Senator McCain's office comes a transcript of his testimony before the Senate Rules Committee, in which he announces specifics on a bill to be proposed tomorrow to allow any member to challenge earmarks in any bill:

Tomorrow I will introduce a modified version of that proposal. I will be joined in this bipartisan effort by Senators Feingold, Coburn, Bayh, Sununu, Graham, Ensign, DeMint, and Kyl.

Our bill, entitled the Pork-Barrel Reduction Act, would establish a new procedure under Rule XVI, modeled in part after the Byrd Rule, which would allow a 60-vote point of order to be raised against specific provisions that contain unauthorized appropriations, including earmarks, as well as unauthorized policy changes in appropriations bills and conference reports. Of importance is that successful points of order would not kill a conference report, but the targeted provisions would be deemed removed from the conference report, and the measure would be sent back for concurrence by the House...

In summary, this proposed rules change, if adopted, would allow any member to raise a point of order in an effort to extract objectionable unauthorized provisions from the appropriations process. Our goal is to reform the current system by empowering all members with a tool to rid appropriations bills of unauthorized funds, pork barrel projects, and legislative policy riders and to provide greater public disclosure of the legislative process.

Now that's a step in the right direction. (HT: Instapundit)