Tags: earmarks | pork | ban | return | attkisson

Report: Earmarks Slipping Back In


By    |   Sunday, 15 Nov 2015 08:13 PM

Earmarks, those pork-spending projects ended by Congress in 2011, have managed to creep their way back into the system, according to the nonpartisan Citizens Against Government Waste.

The group issued a new report, "All About Pork: The History, Abuse, and Future of Earmarks," on Sunday.

"CAGW's report cites the heroes and villains of earmarking throughout the nation’s history," President Tom Schatz said. "It is critical that members of Congress and taxpayers recall the sordid history of earmarks in order to prevent them from once again pervading the appropriations bills. The only way to stop further talk about earmarks is to permanently ban them."

Congress's 2011 action was a moratorium, which means earmarks for special projects in a lawmaker's home state or district could return. Members of both parties have been seeking just that since they make their voters and donors happy.

Earmarks hit their all-time high in 2006, leading to a record $29 billion of the pork spending in 2006. It led to jail terms for Republican Reps. Randy "Duke" Cunningham of California and and Bob Ney of Ohio, as well as lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Appearing Sunday on "Full Measure" with host Sharyl Attkisson, Schatz said that led to Republicans losing their majority, and he revealed some of the past waste the group has uncovered:
  • In 2002, $273,000 was spent to combat goth culture.
  • In 2004, $50 million was spent on an indoor rain forest.
  • In 2006, $500,000 was spent on the Sparta Teapot Museum in North Carolina.
  • Since 1994, M1 Abrams tank upgrades used 38 earmarks wasting $908.6 million even thought the Pentagon says it isn't needed for modern warfare.
  • Since 1994, Aquatic Plant Control Projects 20 earmarks used wasting $30.1 million.
  • Since 2000, Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund used 20 earmarks wasting $149.5 million.
  • Since 2004, Alternative Energy Research used 25 earmarks wasting $254.9 million.
The last project "should be funded solely at the Department of Energy, if at all, and certainly not at the Department of Defense," Schatz said.

"Full Measure" is online and airs on Sinclair affiliate stations Sunday mornings.

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Earmarks, those pork-spending projects ended by Congress in 2011, have managed to creep their way back into the system, according to the nonpartisan Citizens Against Government Waste.
earmarks, pork, ban, return, attkisson
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2015-13-15
Sunday, 15 Nov 2015 08:13 PM
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