GOP Senators: Take the war budget out of pork

It’s similar to the idea I had last night, only more direct.

As you develop contingency plans to keep funding available for the troops in harm’s way, we strongly urge you to cut unnecessary Congressional earmarks as your first source of funding.

The Defense Appropriations bill President Bush recently signed contains over 2.000 earmarks accounting for over $5 billion in wasteful spending. These projects divert critical defense resources from our men and women in combat to projects such as studying brown tree snakes and funding youth golf programs.

That’s in a letter from Senators John McCain, Tom Coburn and Jim DeMint to SecDef Robert Gates. It’s the right idea. If Congress wants to play, make them play hardball and write their pork out of the DoD spending bill that has already been passed. Jack Murtha and just about every other Democrat stands to lose quite a bit of earmarked spending that’s in that bill. $5 billion won’t buy but about a month of the war, but taking it out would encourage the Democrats to become a little more cooperative. And if they don’t, then you make layoffs hit Democrat districts disproportionately (within the constraints of keeping the military viable, obviously).