Yesterday the House and Senate negotiators announced that they would meet today to pare down the pork in the emergency supplemental bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the damage inflicted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Here at this blog, and at many others, we decry the immense amount of pork that was stuffed into this emergency bill, but sometimes, in our outrage, we forget to explain what this pork has done. It has kept this bill from being passed and that has damaged our war efforts and our ability to rebuild our own country:
The White House says a money crunch is threatening military operations and training accounts, especially for the Army, and could slow training and equipping of Iraqi soldiers. … the Army will impose a civilian hiring freeze Tuesday and has cut spending on spare parts, transportation and travel.
And let’s not forget that residents of New Orleans are still unable to move back to their homes. Now, there are certainly reasons that these emergency spending bills should not be coming before Congress. We have been at war in Iraq and Afghanistan for three and almost five years respectively and there is no reason for the Bush Administration to continue to hide these costs by not including them in their annual budget request. However, the Senate did not try and argue this point, instead they turned the emergency bill into a pulled-pork sandwich and have held up progress in a war and in rebuilding our scarred country. Next time any of these pork-pushers questions the patriotism of an American they should have to answer for withholding funds from our troops and from our damaged cities and towns.