Congressional conference committees, charged with reconciling differences between House- and Senate-passed versions of the same legislation, have become dramatically more powerful in shaping bills. The panels, made up of a small group of lawmakers appointed by leaders in both parties, added a record 3,407 "pork barrel" projects to appropriations bills for this year's federal budget, items that were never debated or voted on beforehand by the House and Senate and whose congressional patrons are kept secret. This compares to just 47 projects added in conference committee in 1994, the last year of Democratic control.
Conference committees are a key part of the legislative process in the
As Larry King says when he goes to commercial: “More to come”. And they call themselves fiscal conservatives.
There is more on this today from the Boston Globe.
All this is relevant to the matter of political reputation. The Democrats and the Liberals/NDP in
I don’t think this newer brand of conservatism has yet altered traditional reputations, much to the advantage at the moment of the Conservatives/Republicans, but the reputations are built on perceptions that can change slowly over time given long enough exposure of the public to new realities. The public in
And all this would be thrown into turmoil if there were to be a deep recession.