The U.S. Senate began debate on Tuesday on a $636 billion defense spending bill that critics say is too laden with special-interest projects and other unnecessary measures the Pentagon does not want.
The debate highlights the difficulty of keeping spending in check as the federal government racks up record budget deficits.
Lawmakers have fought to continue weapons systems that the Pentagon has tried to cancel and earmarked $2.7 billion for projects in their home districts -- everything from a World War Two museum to a civic-education center named for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy. ...
Comment: Special interest influence has increased exponentially since the 17th Amendment was passed in 1913. Only by repealing the 17th and returning the rightful power to the states can we stop this maddening exploding growth of the federal government.