The pork-encrusted Iraq emergency funding bill is sliding through the House:
"We have provided all of the money the president requested- and more," boasted House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer.
That includes $74 million for peanut storage, $25 million for spinach growers and $100 million for citrus growers.
It also includes $16 million to convert the old Food and Drug Administration building in southwest D.C. into more office space for the Capitol. That "emergency" expenditure comes at a time when taxpayers already shell out $600 million "more than double the original estimate" for a mammoth expansion of the Capitol, which includes 160,000 feet of new office space.
Brian Riedl has the whole ugly story:
The spending spree extends well beyond farm subsidies. It also includes:
- $120 million for the shrimp and menhaden fishing industries;
- $60 million for fisheries;
- $35 million for NASA;
- $5 million for those engaged in "breeding, rearing, or transporting live fish" ;
- $6.4 million for additional salaries and expenses for the House of Representatives; and
- $16 million for additional office space for the House of Representatives.
The supplemental would also provide approximately $735 million for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Under this provision, the 14 states that chose to expand SCHIP coverage without ensuring that they had resources to pay for it would be rewarded with a huge bailout from the 36 states that planned responsibly. The clear result would be to encourage more states to make massive new financial commitments and then wait for Washington—using money from taxpayers in other states—to bail them out.
I dunno, it sounds like a clever ploy to stop funding the war—stuff the bill with enough scrapple and voters will get sick of it even faster. "Well, I sort of want to make the Middle East safe for democracy… but I really, really hate the shrimp industry."