IN A WASHINGTON OUT TO CUT federal spending, 12-term Congressman Bud Shuster is an unrepentant pork-barrel spender. Now it appears the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has converts. More than half his House colleagues--including a hefty majority of those reform-minded G.O.P. freshmen--are backing a bill that would lift constraints on highway and airport projects. If the Truth in Budgeting Act is passed by the House next week, it would give Shuster's committee great latitude to tap some $33 billion in transportation trust funds.

The measure has mobilized a formidable lobbying coalition, uniting organized labor and big and small...

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