Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., wants the government to finish building the 700-mile fence between the U.S. and Mexico. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., wants to end the health insurance industry's antitrust protection. West Virginia's two senators want help with mine and oil rig safety.
They all want to add these things to the financial regulatory overhaul bill that's moving through the Senate, even though their ideas have little or nothing to do with oversight of financial markets.
Senators have proposed 326 amendments to the bill, whose chief purpose is to revamp the system that's regulated financial institutions since the Great Depression, but failed to prevent the current deep recession.
The bill could be the last major legislation this Congress approves — and draw enormous media attention — before November's congressional elections. That's why it's attracting a lot of extraneous amendments.
They're like pigs at a trough.
It's past time to restore some sanity to Washington by repealing the 17th Amendment.