Up Front: CAPITAL OFFENSES
PORK IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
REPUBLICANS ARE LOPPING off the pork, right? Although they loudly complained about spending habits of Democratic Congresses, the GOP's rise to power on Capitol Hill hasn't changed some things.
So far, House Republicans have pushed through trims for antipoverty programs. Surviving are nearly $2 billion in highway projects for well-connected members only, many of them Republicans. Five projects totaling $56 million are for House Transportation Committee Chairman Bud Shuster's district in Pennsylvania. Then there's Interior Appropriations Chairman Ralph Regula's $2 million Route 30 extension in central Ohio. And Democrat-basher Jim Nussle (R-Iowa), bagged a $9.4 million highway bypass for Mason City.
The GOP-led Arizona delegation gets a present: The House Appropriations national security subcommittee protected $72 million for six Apache helicopters the Army never asked for. They are built by McDonnell Douglas in the state. Appropriations Committee Chairman Bob Livingston (R-La.) saved some $38 million in home-state projects, including $15 million for a new bioenvironmental research building at his alma mater, Tulane. The Republicans vow that all the pork will go eventually. Just not now.EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT, WITH OLUWABUMNI SHABI Richard S. Dunham