January 26, 2011

Will Reid cry all the way home if pork spending is cut?

While the First Lady has made fighting obesity one of her top priorities, perhaps her husband is considering fighting a slice of government obesity as well.

In Tuesday's State of the Union address, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to veto earmarks, aka "pork barrel" spending. However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) wasn't too thrilled that the President would be cutting pork out of his political diet. Quoted in the Las Vegas Sun, Reid stated:
"It only gives the president more power," Reid said. "He's got enough power already."

Reid's democratic colleague in the House, Shelley Berkley, also criticized the earmark ban, claiming Nevada wouldn't get its share, whereas House freshman Joe Heck (R) "applauded the president's commitment to demonstrating fiscal restraint."

If eliminating earmarks reduces the overall amount of government pork in the budget, Obama's pledge will be a good thing otherwise it's basically an empty promise. Given Reid's status as Senate Majority Leader and his importance to Obama's agenda, it will be interesting to see who blinks first in the earmark debate: Obama or Reid.