Worms in the Pork

'Twas the season to be generous, if not jolly, on Capitol Hill. In its preholiday I dash toward adjournment, the lameduck Congress bestowed dozens of baubles, bangles and beads on the folks (and special-interest groups) back home. The result, fumed Silvio Conte, ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, was "a Christmas tree."

Many of the ornaments came in the form of amendments to the continuing-spending resolution and gas-tax bill. Senator Howell Heflin, an Alabama Democrat, tucked in a $1 million appropriation for channel-widening at the Franklin Ferry Bridge in his...

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