On the Senate floor this week, tension over the appropriations process exploded when Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) denounced what he called a "corrupt process."
McCain is angry at Senate appropriators for slipping home-state favors into the omnibus spending bill last year. It's an almost yearly drama that gets played out between Senate appropriators who dole out money to federal agencies and Senators who set the policy those same agencies are supposed to follow.
In particular McCain targeted two of his colleagues - Senate Banking Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Senate Minority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) - both of whom are senior appropriators.
In an interview after his blistering floor speech, McCain said he is calling on Republican Senators to publicly join him in pledging to prevent similar provisions from appearing in future spending bills. The Senate is expected to spend several months debating the appropriations bills this summer.