pork barrel

Idioms & Phrases

pork barrel

Government funding of something that benefits a particular district, whose legislator thereby wins favor with local voters. For example, Our senator knows the value of the pork barrel. This expression alludes to the fatness of pork, equated with political largesse since the mid-1800s. [c. 1900]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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