Stick It In Your Earmark!


Via reader Richard Hohm comes this interesting Club for Growth bit about earmarks in our new, fiscally responsible Congress:

Even though the Democratic majority vowed to return Congress to a path of fiscal responsibility, the 2008 appropriations bills were stuffed with wasteful pork projects. While Representatives John Campbell, Jeff Flake, Jeb Hensarling, Scott Garrett, and David Obey (1 amendment) offered 50 amendments to strip outrageous pork projects from the appropriations bills, only one amendment, offered by Rep. Jeff Flake, passed….

Some interesting numbers to consider:

  • Sixteen congressmen scored a perfect 100%, voting for all 50 anti-pork amendments. They are all Republicans.
  • The average Republican score was 43%. The average Democratic score was 2%….
  • 105 congressmen scored an embarrassing 0%, voting against every single amendment. The Pork Hall of Shame includes 81 Democrats and 24 Republicans.
  • The Democratic Freshmen scored an abysmal average score of 2%. Their Republican counterparts scored an average score of 78%.

Some of the targeted pork projects this year include:

  • $2 million for a "Paint Shield for Protecting People from Microbial Threats," requested by Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH-11). Rep. John Campbell challenged Murtha to demonstrate that the $2 million earmark would be effective and that it had been put up for a competitive bid. Murtha could not. Amendment failed, 91-317.
  • $1 million to the Center for Instrumented Critical Infrastructure in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, requested by Rep. John Murtha (D-PA). No congressional member could confirm the existence of the alleged Center. Amendment failed, 98-326.
  • $2 million to establish the "Rangel Center for Public Service" at City College of New York, requested by none other then Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY). Amendment failed, 108-316.
  • $34 million for the Alaska Native Education Equity program, requested by Rep. Don Young (R-AK). When Scott Garrett challenged Young's earmark, Rep. Young declared, "You want my money, my money!" Amendment failed, 74-352.

More, including a full ranking of all congressthings, here. (For those who care, Rep. Ron Paul [R-Texas], whose relationship to earmarks remains disappointing to me, only voted in favor of 12 of 41 anti-earmark amendments, which gave him a miserable 29 percent score).