In April, President George W. Bush signed off on nearly $80 billion in emergency spending to pay for the war on Iraq. With that much money in play, the White House and Congress couldn't help but throw in a few extra goodies that had nothing to do with Iraq. Take, for example, the $93 million marked under three separate expenditures for counter-narcotics initiatives led by the Defense and State Departments.
According to David Williams, vice president of policy at Citizens Against Government Waste, there was only one copy of the conference report—the final compromise between the House and Senate versions of a bill—available to Congress prior to the vote. "We're concerned that there wasn't enough scrutiny of the report before it was voted on," he says.
Sample Expenses in the Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act
$2.9 billion to bail out failing airlines
$110 million for the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa
$65 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for geostationary and polar orbiting systems
$16 million to study severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS
$15 million for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
$4.8 million for the General Accounting Office
$3.3 million for "payment to the European Communities" with regard to the "music licensing dispute"
$2 million for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service's State and Tribal Wildlife Grants
$1 million for Training and Employment Services at the Department of Labor
$231,000 for abstinence education and related services for a Lutheran ministry in Allentown, Pennsylvania
Sources: Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 1559) and Citizens Against Government Waste (www.cagw.org)