Those who were expecting the Tea Party surge to bring a wave of change to Washington must be scratching their heads.
Republicans, led by Sen. Mitch McConnell, struck a deal with Democratic President Barack Obama for a huge slug — $900 billion — of deficit spending while House Republicans elected Rep. Hal Rogers, the "Prince of Pork," chairman of the appropriations committee.
Rogers, of Somerset, earned his nickname through his uncanny ability to bring the bacon home to his Kentucky district during 30 years in Congress. In the current fiscal year, he sponsored or co-sponsored 50 earmarks totaling $93.4 million, which ranked him 10th out of 435 representatives, according to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.
But Rogers is on the wagon now. He's sworn off earmarks and promised to usher in a new era of fiscal austerity.
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Not to worry, though. As chairman of the appropriations committee, Rogers won't need earmarks to funnel federal tax dollars to Kentucky or his other causes.
He'll be holding the purse strings of every agency of the federal government and writing the federal budget. Under those circumstances, agency heads can be counted on to see the merit in his ideas and pet projects.
The likelihood that Rogers would ascend to such an important chairmanship is one of the reasons we cited for endorsing him. Rogers' poor district is certainly in need of all the help it can get.
We just wish Rogers would more effectively target the taxpayers' largesse at solving the district's deep and myriad problems.
Congratulations to Rogers on reaching what would be considered the pinnacle of his political career.
In doing so, he's perhaps proven the adage that the more things change, the more they stay the same.