Thursday, March 29, 2007

Isn't the war important enough on its own?

It is downright embarrassing that Dems in Congress had to pack the emergency war spending bill with pork to entice their colleagues to vote for it.

It seems pretty close to the ultimate in moral corruption: "I'll vote the way you want on an issue that is life or death for thousands of people and will determine the standing of this country in the eyes of the world if you give me money for peanut storage."

How low can they go?

From Citizens Against Government Waste, a list of the House pork, followed by the Senate pork.

House

  • $500 million for emergency wildfires suppression; the Forest Service currently has $831 million for this purpose;
  • $400 million for rural schools;
  • $283 million for the Milk Income Loss Contract program;

  • $120 million to compensate for the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the shrimp and menhaden fishing industries;

  • $100 million for citrus assistance;

  • $74 million for peanut storage costs;

  • $60.4 million for salmon fisheries in the Klamath River region in California and Oregon;

  • $50 million for asbestos mitigation at the U.S. Capitol Plant;

  • $48 million in salaries and expenses for the Farm Service Agency;

  • $35 million for NASA risk mitigation projects in Gulf Coast;

  • $25 million for spinach growers;

  • $25 million for livestock;

  • $20 million for Emergency Conservation Program for farmland damaged by freezing temperatures;

  • $16 million for security upgrades to House of Representatives office buildings;

  • $10 million for the International Boundary and Water Commission for the Rio Grande Flood Control System Rehabilitation project;

  • $6.4 million for House of Representative’s Salaries and Expenses Account for business continuity and disaster recovery expenses;

  • $5 million for losses suffered by aquaculture businesses including breeding, rearing, or transporting live fish as a result of viral hemorrhagic septicemia;

  • $4 million for the Office of Women’s Health at the Food and Drug Administration; and

  • A minimum wage increase, which is the subject of separate legislation.

Senate

  • $1.5 billion to the Army Corps of Engineers for recovery along the coast, including funding for Hawaii for an April 2006 flood;
  • $850 million for Department of Homeland Security grants ($625M for rail/transit grants, $190M for port security grants, and $35M for urban area security grants);
  • $660 million for the procurement of an explosives detection system for the Transportation Security Administration;
  • $640 million for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program;
  • $425 million for education grants for rural areas;
  • $388.9 million for a backlog of Department of Transportation projects;
  • $165.9 million (including $60.4 million for salmon fisheries in the Klamath Basin region) for fisheries disaster relief;
  • $100 million for the Democratic and Republican National Conventions;
  • $95 million for dairy producers;
  • $75 million for salaries and expenses for the Farm Service Agency;
  • $48 million in disaster construction money for NASA;
  • $25 million for grants through the Safe and Drug Free Schools program;
  • $25 million for asbestos abatement at the Capitol Power Plant;
  • $24 million to sugar beet producers;
  • $22.8 million for geothermal research and development;
  • $20 million for reimbursements to Nevada
  • $20 million for reimbursements to Nevada for “insect damage;”
  • $13 for the Ewe Lamb Replacement and Retention Program;
  • $12 million for Forest Service money requested by the president in the non-emergency FY2008 budget
  • $3.5 million for guided tours of the Capitol;
  • $3 million for sugar cane; and
  • Allows the transfer of funds from holiday ornament sales in the Senate gift shop.



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