Under Speaker Boehner’s Pillar of the New Majority, the end of “pork” was assured … you, know that old practice whereby the Party Managers would find a way to get some “Congressional Projects” approved for those districts where the incumbent might have a “tough” re-election.
Yep, “pork” is gone … so, the District may not hear the Congressman announcing funding for programs for his district … but that doesn’t mean that there are not other ways for the Party to “help” an endangered incumbent.
Under Speaker Boehner’s Pillars, the emphasis would be at the Committee level … so that all members could promote ideas … resolution by compromise … then up to the full House for quick approval.
Well, those Pillars have crumbled. Compromise is hardly necessary when Republicans dominate committees (the Republicans have an eight seat advantage on the House Armed Services Committee plus Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) is assigned to the committee but is still recovering from an assassination attempt)… so the compromise must come when the Senate and the House approve different versions of a bill and a conference committee is required.
Thus, it is that Speaker Boehner has the opportunity to name Conferees for H.R. 1540, NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2012.
Speaker Boehner selected 31 Conferees from the HASC … 18 Republican Congressmen, 12 Democrats Congressmen and the Delegate from Guam.
Stacking the conference committee with members that are involved with the oversight of DoD spending would seem to make sense … then Speaker Boehner “rounded” out the Conference Committee by adding in some other members. Many of the “other” members are experienced legislators …. But then there are a few “interesting” selections.
Notably … Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY-25), Raymond “Crash” Cravaack (R-MN-08) and Joe Heck (R-NV-03) … all first-term members … all that have seats that are considered to be targeted by the Democrats for November 2012.
Dan Lungren (R-CA-03) is also a targeted seat and is facing a re-districting challenge … he’s on the conference committee.
And in selecting the members from the HASC, Speaker Boehner went down on the seniority ranks to select first-term member, Bobby Schilling (R-IL-17) who has a targeted seat and potential re-districting problems.
No “pork” for the districts, but considering the “fundraising” potential from the Military Industrial Complex, it’s better than “pork”.
Considering the make-up of the House Conference members, the “newbies” will probably not have any impact on resolving the “key” differences … whichever Republican he appointed would have followed Party Orders, but the individual Member of Congress’ re-election chances just improved as the “donations” will be directed to where they are needed most.
Yep, things have changed under the Pillars of a New Majority … voters barely remember 1996 when there was an uproar after John Boehner handed out checks from a tobacco-affiliated PAC to colleagues on the House … now he just makes committee assignments.