Probably the most prominent feature of the past 30–40 years of American politics has been the near-simultaneous rise in party unity in the House and the evolution of aggressive majority-party control of the chamber.
To wit, the Democrats under Nancy Pelosi are behaving more-or-less identically with the Republicans under Newt Gingrich. John J. Pitney, Jr., chronicles the “old-boss, same-boss” dynamic here, with special demerits for Pelosi’s would-be right-hand-man,
Jim John Murtha, who was given a pass on violating House rules on decorum after threatening retribution against a GOP lawmaker who proposed stripping funding from a pork project in Murtha’s constituency.
That isn’t to say that the majority party controls everything, even in the House; the bipartisan backers of bringing home the bacon appear to be behind this move to relocate pork-stuffing to conference committees, which will immunize pork provisions from being amended out of legislation. The Porkbusters Weenies™ are nervous, but as a political scientist, I’m just surprised it took the House that long to decide to lard up appropriations in conference.