After two years of missed opportunities and scandal, the Members of the 109th congress were finally able to leave Washington having made a few notable last- minute accomplishments.
At the top of the list, GOP Senators Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn led the charge against 12,000 earmarks that Appropriators had hoped to stuff into the remaining fiscal 2007 spending bills. Among the early Christmas booty was millions for parking garages, jazz museums and bike paths.
Despite much howling from special interests, city and state politicians, DeMint and Coburn prevailed and Congress instead passed a stopgap "continuing resolution" that will fund the government at 2006 levels until mid-February and save taxpayers as much as $17 billion.
The House also agreed to swallow its pride and accept the Senate offshore drilling bill. This is the first real energy-production bill to pass Congress in years and will open 8.3 million acres of the Outer Continental Shelf for drilling. The new acreage holds an estimated 5.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, adding to a dwindling North American supply that has been driving U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas. (Dow Jones, 12/12/06)
(Reported by: Intercessors for America)