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Pork

Old 11-24-04, 08:04 AM
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Pork

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...vored_projects


AP: Budget Has Room for Special Projects

Wed Nov 24, 2:50 AM ET

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By SHARON THEIMER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Austerity in big-ticket government programs hasn't dulled lawmakers' appetite for special interest spending items that curry favor back home.

The spending plan awaiting President Bush (news - web sites)'s signature is packed with them, doling out $4 million for an Alabama fertilizer development center, $1 million each for a Norwegian American Foundation in Seattle and a "Wild American Shrimp Initiative," and more, much more.

Despite soaring deficits, lawmakers from both parties who approved the $388 billion package last weekend set plenty of money aside for home-district projects like these, knowing they sow goodwill among special interests and voters.

They also raised the ire of Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., a pork-barrel critic who took to the Senate floor to ask whether shrimp are so unruly and lacking initiative that the government must spend $1 million on them.

"Why does the U.S. taxpayer need to fund this `no shrimp left behind' act?" he asked.

Among items in the package: $335,000 to protect North Dakota's sunflowers from blackbirds, $2.3 million for an animal waste management research lab in Bowling Green, Ky., $50,000 to control wild hogs in Missouri, and $443,000 to develop salmon-fortified baby food.

Sen. Richard Shelby (news, bio, voting record), an Alabama Republican who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, won dozens of special items for his state enough to fill 20 press releases.

In one aimed at northern Alabama, Shelby took credit for the $4 million budgeted for the International Fertilizer Development Center. "In addition to the important research conducted at this facility, the facility employs numerous Muscle Shoals-area residents," he noted.

Government watchdog Frank Clemente contends such special spending often based more on a lawmaker's clout on appropriations committees than on objective factors such as a state's population winds up costing even those who win a new road, park or research project.

"I think that's the biggest unfortunate thing about these special earmarks they eat up billions of dollars," said Clemente, spokesman for Public Citizen. "Meanwhile they're cutting billions of dollars for environmental programs, or education programs or cops on the beat or what have you. That's kind of the unintended effect or the secret effect of these programs."

The time-honored practice flourished despite the ballooning national debt, less money for federal programs and rising concern about how government will finance the futures of Medicare and Social Security (news - web sites).

When Bush first took office, he vowed to cut pet projects from the federal budget, but the president has yet to veto a single spending bill. He is expected to sign the new plan as well.

Within hours of the spending bill's passage, lawmakers were touting the projects they brought home to constituents a reminder that in federal budgets what is derided as pork-barrel spending by one constituency can be embraced by another as local assistance.

Missouri Republican Sens. Kit Bond and Jim Talent and Republican Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (news, bio, voting record) on Monday announced federal money for three-dozen projects in southern Missouri, including $50,000 for wild-hog control.

Ohio Reps. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, a Democrat, and Steven LaTourette, a Republican, boasted about $350,000 for music education programs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

Nicole Williams, a spokeswoman for Tubbs Jones, said another lawmaker requested the money but Tubbs Jones supported it. With a deficit in Cleveland's public school system and music education among the programs getting cut, the museum aid could benefit the city as a whole, Williams said.

Alaska Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Ted Stevens claimed credit for channeling federal money to the state's salmon industry, including money to research use of salmon as a base for baby food.



"The goal is to increase the market for salmon by encouraging the production of more `value-added' salmon products," Murkowski's office said.

Michigan's two Democratic senators, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, let it be known they had won $4 million for an environmentally friendly public transportation system in Traverse City.

Many of the special items that made the cut were promoted by lobbyists hired by interest groups, companies or communities to convince lawmakers money was needed for their projects.

"No, a bike trail in X, Y, Z part of the country doesn't benefit the country as a whole, but the people in that district or community (also) put their money into the pot," said Jim Albertine, a lobbyist who successfully pressed for research and development money for the superconductor industry.

The targeted spending was so prolific that McCain had no problem filling a half-hour speech with examples. The shrimp program really stuck in his craw.

"I am hoping that the appropriators could explain to me why we need $1 million for this are American shrimp unruly and lacking initiative?" he asked.

McCain's query went unanswered, in part because spending documents don't identify who proposed each item or why.
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Old 11-24-04, 08:07 AM
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http://www.taxpayer.net/TCS/PressRel...-20Omnibus.htm

"Here they go again. With the fat lady singing on the 108th Congress, lawmakers have just passed a massive spending bill that virtually no one has read, and no one knows much about. Despite this, hardly anyone seems to care. We heard a lot about how this bill is fiscally responsible. However, the facts speak for themselves. This bill is the fattest legislative hog that we have ever seen and despite record deficits, lawmakers are much more concerned with feathering the nests of their favorite parochial interests. If this bill is an indicator of what's to come, we will be swimming up a river of red ink for quite some time."

Below are 20 of the most egregious earmarks in the bill:

1. $25,000: Curriculum development for the study of mariachi music, Clark County School Distinct, NV, Labor-HHS.
2. $25,000: Banana Factory for an arts and technology after school program, Bethlehem, PA, Labor-HHS.
3. $45,000: A+ for Abstinence for abstinence education and related services, Waynesboro, PA, Labor-HHS.
4. $300,000: CyberSeniors, Inc. - Experience Senior Power Program, Detroit, MI, Labor-HHS.
5. $225,000: National Wild Turkey Federation, SC, Agriculture.
6. $250,000: Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville, TN, VA/HUD.
7. $1,000,000: Missouri Pork Producers Federation: converting animal waste into energy, MO, VA/ HUD.
8. $75,000: Renovations of the Merry Go Round Playhouse, Auburn, NY, VA/HUD.
9. $100,000: Punxsutawney Weather Museum, Punxsutawney, PA, VA/HUD.
10. $306,000: Restroom repair at Porter Beach at Indian Dunes NL, IN, Interior.
11. $4,989,000: Stabilize bathhouses for adaptive reuse, Hot Springs, AR, Interior.
12. $800,000: Soybean Rust Research, Ames, IA, Interior.
13. $1,400,000: Laser lines of tug roads and lake Hood Seaplane base, Ted Stevens International Airport, AK, Transportation.
14. $1,593: Potato Storage, Madison, WI, Agriculture.
15. $250,000: Asparagus Technology and Production, WA, Agriculture.
16. $50,000: Feral Hogs, MO, Agriculture.
17. $150,000: Coca-Cola Space Science Center, Columbs, GA, VA/HUD
18. $150,000: Beaver management and damage. WI, Agriculture
19. $250,000: Sidewalks, street furniture, and facade improvements. Boca Raton, FL, VA/HUD
20. $200,000: American Cotton Museum. Greenville, TX, VA/HUD.


Soybean rust is probably worth spending money on...there might be a few others in there as well
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Old 11-24-04, 08:12 AM
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http://councilfor.cagw.org/site/News...rticle&id=8474

While lawmakers and President Bush lauded the omnibus for holding domestic spending, excluding defense and foreign aid, members of Congress showed no restraint in their hunger for pork-barrel projects. The thousands of earmarks lurking in the bill include: $3.5 million for bus acquisition in Atlanta, Ga.; $2 million for kitchen relocation in Fairbanks North Star Borough in Fairbanks, Alaska; $1.5 million for a demonstration project to transport naturally chilled water from Lake Ontario to Lake Onondaga; $500,000 for the Kincaid Park Soccer and Nordic Ski Center in Anchorage, Alaska; $250,000 for the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn.; $200,000 for Fenton Street Village pedestrian linkages in Montgomery Co., Md.; $100,000 for a municipal swimming pool in Ottawa, Kan.; $80,000 for the San Diego Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center; $75,000 for the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame in Appleton, Wis.; $35,000 for the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame; and $25,000 for fitness equipment for the YMCA in Bradford County, Pa.
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Old 11-24-04, 08:51 AM
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where is Mark Sanford

when you need him?


Mark Sanford 2008!
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Old 11-24-04, 09:04 AM
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if half these things weren't passed then people would be ranting about how the government is cutting much needed local programs.

anyone think midnight basketball in the 1990's wasn't pork?

this stuff is nothing. the new pork of the 21st century is "homeland security"

every state out there is fighting for federal homeand security dollars and making up ways to spend them

Last edited by al_bundy; 11-24-04 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 11-24-04, 09:07 AM
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Re: Pork

Yes? What?
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Old 11-24-04, 09:17 AM
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Re: Pork




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Old 11-24-04, 09:27 AM
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McCain busily swills at the Arizona pork trough, however.

What a phony!!
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Old 11-24-04, 10:11 AM
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I have no problem supporting the Norwegian American Foundation in Seattle.

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Old 11-24-04, 10:19 AM
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If you want to get upset about this year's budget, get upset about this:

House leaders make deal to keep tax returns private
Measure in spending bill to be removed in December session
Tuesday, November 23, 2004 Posted: 6:18 PM EST (2318 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Lawmakers have reached an agreement on how to remove a provision in a giant spending bill that would allow two committee chairmen to review individual tax returns, a spokesman for Rep. Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday.

The agreement, the spokesman said, is that the House minority leader will allow an extension of a continuing resolution to fund the government until December 8. The House will reconvene December 6 to vote on removing the language from the omnibus spending bill.

That means the House and Senate will meet before Thanksgiving for what will likely be minimalist sessions to pass an extended continuing resolution.

The actions are necessary because the omnibus bill is being kept in the Senate and not sent to the president for his signature until the offending language is removed. The Senate approved a resolution to remove the offending language Saturday night after the House had left.

The provision would bypass other laws that govern "the disclosure of income tax returns or return information" -- and that impose steep penalties and fines on such disclosure -- to allow the chairmen of the House and Senate appropriations committees or their agents "access to Internal Revenue Service facilities and any tax returns or return information contained therein."

In discussions over how to remove the tax-returns provision, Pelosi had objected to regular GOP use of a parliamentary technique -- called "martial law" or a "same day" rule -- that expedites final votes on bills, often before lawmakers have time to read them.

Pelosi said she believes that kind of expedited schedule was to blame for the provision slipping past lawmakers and into the bill.

Angry House Republican leaders -- already embarrassed by the IRS flap -- contended "martial law" is a necessary tool to manage Congress and was used regularly by Democrats when they were in the majority.

"This is about good government, not about Democratic obstructionism," Pelosi aide Brendan Daly said. "We want to prevent Republicans from shoving these massive bills down members' throats with no time to look at them."

When they return in December, lawmakers could also address the intelligence overhaul bill that stalled last weekend. (Full story)

Republicans said the IRS provision was never designed to allow snooping into people's private records, but was intended to improve oversight of the agency, which just got a half-billion-dollar budget increase. Nevertheless, Republicans moved to ditch the provision after Senate Republicans and Democrats complained.

Rep. Ernest Istook, the Oklahoma Republican whose subcommittee was responsible for the provision, said it had been misrepresented.

Staff members of Sen. Kent Conrad, a Democrat from North Dakota, found the language in the 3,500-page bill Saturday after the House passed it on to the Senate as the deadline before the Senate's holiday recess rapidly approached.

Conrad said Monday the measure was "too dangerous" and should "never become law."

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and his Democratic counterpart Tom Daschle ironed out an agreement to pass the $388 billion bill and remove the language by resolution, while holding it in the Senate until the House passes a similar resolution. Only then will the bill go to President Bush for his signature.

Frist said Sunday that "accountability will be carried out" against whoever slipped in the provision.

Sen. John McCain said Sunday that the episode points up the problems created when Congress passes gigantic spending bills quickly at the end of a session.
http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/...tax.provision/
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Old 11-24-04, 10:56 AM
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Originally posted by JasonF
If you want to get upset about this year's budget, get upset about this:
You're upset that they removed that provision?
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Old 11-24-04, 11:06 AM
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I wish Bush would push a "Line Item Veto" ammendment through. I favored it when Clinton got it (but never got to use it that I know of), and think it would go a long way to holding these people accountable.
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Old 11-24-04, 11:07 AM
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Originally posted by JasonF
If you want to get upset about this year's budget, get upset about this:



http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/...tax.provision/
that was put in by accident. republicans already said they want to remove it and democrats are arguing for debate on the issue instead of just removing it.
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Old 11-24-04, 11:18 AM
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Originally posted by X
You're upset that they removed that provision?
I'm upset that they slipped it in in the first place (apparently by accident, according to al_bundy -- don't ask me how you accidentally add a rider to a budget bill).

I'm also upset that they are trying to do the same thing with a bill that would allow hospitals and other health care providers to bar their employees from performing/discussing abortion. There may or may not be merit to such a proposal, but for God's sake -- let the issue come up for debate on it's own, not as a line-item sneaked into the budget.
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Old 11-24-04, 11:21 AM
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If anyone goes through the trouble of determining the reason for putting that provision in the bill it doesn't sound at all like it's being made out to be. But the way it was made political turned it into a "gotcha".
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Old 11-24-04, 11:23 AM
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bills are like 300 pages long full of boring legalese and are written by the legilative staff

anyone seriously think that our legislators read every single page of every single bill? That's what committees are for, and even then it's too much work.
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Old 11-24-04, 11:34 AM
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Originally posted by al_bundy
bills are like 300 pages long full of boring legalese and are written by the legilative staff

anyone seriously think that our legislators read every single page of every single bill? That's what committees are for, and even then it's too much work.
I'm disillusioned
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Old 11-24-04, 03:52 PM
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#8, turning pigshit into energy is as close to a comprehensive energy bill as this Congress is going to get to.
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Old 11-24-04, 04:11 PM
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where's the money allocate to study how spiders feed?
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