Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sen. Byrd Getting Pushed Out?

Via the Politico, Dems are apparently seeking to push Sen. Byrd out of his position as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Alas, the reason he is to be pushed out has nothing to do with the fact that he has managed to name half the state of West Virginia after himself through his penchant for earmarks.

No, the reason he is being forced out is simply that the old guy is apparently starting to wear down a bit. In fact, he seems to have gotten too old to write his own name into Congressional Bills, as he barely cracks the top 40 senators in terms of times named in the current omnibus spending bill. Actually, most of the reason is probably that the Dem leadership has earned a lot of shame for itself in its cowtowing to the Administration on certain budgetary issues like that Iraq War thing.

His most logical successor, Senator Inoue of Hawaii, is also getting up there in years and rather likes his position running the pork-heavenly Defense subcommittee. It seems that the Dems will thus be turning to their 7th most senior member on the committee, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington. Given that Murray ranks right up with Chuck Schumer for most mentions in the omnibus spending bill, it would seem that the Dems, it would seem that her leadership of the Appropriations Committe would be based more on her penchant for securing pork than on her ability to put together a good budget. But I guess that's just me.