When I say pork stuffed, I am not kidding either.
Over 2,000 earmarks — lawmaker-sponsored projects that critics call pork-barrel spending, that have nothing to do with education, health or labor were added to that bill, totaling $22 billion.
The House approved the bill last week, 274 to 141, shy of the two-thirds majority necessary to override a veto, while the Senate voted 56 to 37 for the measure, also shy of the two-thirds majority needed to override Bush's veto.
I loved this quote from Bush, via the AP:
"The Congress now sitting in Washington holds this philosophy," Bush told an audience of business and community leaders. "The majority was elected on a pledge of fiscal responsibility, but so far it's acting like a teenager with a new credit card.
More from Washington Wire:
“Congress is not picky about how to raise taxes. To them, every bill on the floor is an opportunity for a tax hike. Congress has proposed tax increases in the farm bill … the energy bill … the small business bill … and the children’s health bill. If you find a bill that doesn’t have a tax increase in it, just wait a while – chances are they’ll add one in.”
President Bush's message to Congress:
TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:Captain's Quarters shows us what a few of those 2,000+ earmarks (pork) includes:
I am returning herewith without my approval H.R. 3043, the "Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008."
This bill spends too much. It exceeds the reasonable and responsible levels for discretionary spending that I proposed to balance the budget by 2012. The Congress is on a path to spend $205 billion more over the next 5 years than I requested. This puts a balanced budget in jeopardy and risks future tax increases. This year, the Congress plans to overspend my budget by $22 billion, of which $10 billion is for increases in this bill. Health care, education, job training, and other goals can be achieved without this excessive spending if the Congress sets priorities.
This bill continues to fund programs that are duplicative or ineffective. The Congress continues to fund 56 programs totaling more than $3.2 billion that I proposed to terminate because they are duplicative, narrowly focused, or not producing results.
This bill does not sufficiently fund programs that are delivering positive outcomes. For example, Reading First, a critical initiative that is demonstrating results, receives a 61 percent cut, even though low-income students enrolled in Reading First schools posted a more than 10-point improvement in reading proficiency from 2004 to 2006.
This bill has too many earmarks. I set out clear goals for the Congress to reform the earmarking process. The Congress chose not to put earmarks in bill text, instead including nearly all in report language, and they did not reach the goal of cutting the cost and number of earmarks by at least half. This bill contains more than 2,200 earmarks totaling nearly $1 billion. Congressional earmarks divert Federal taxpayer funds to localities without the benefit of a merit-based process, resulting in fewer resources for national priorities or unnecessary spending above the requested level.
I urge the Congress to send me a fiscally responsible bill that sets priorities. Americans sent us to Washington to achieve results and be good stewards of their hard-earned tax dollars. Because the legislation violates that commitment, I must veto this bill.
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
November 13, 2007.
Among those earmarks were $500,000 to the National Council of La Raza, over $10 million for an advanced credentialing program which the organization did not request, and the Charles Rangel Monument to Me. With the long list of unnecessities included in this porkfest, its supporters have little room to complain about a veto.
The only people playing politics here are the Representatives and Senators that treat the Treasury as their re-election funds.
Citizens Against Government Waste has much more about the pork in this bill.
Washington, D.C. - Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today released its preliminary analysis of H.R. 3043, the Fiscal 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Act and Military Construction Appropriations Act. The numbers in these bills do not bear out repeated assertions, such as those included in a November 4 article in The New York Times, that congressional earmarks have been cut by 50 percent this year.
CAGW found 2,274 projects so far in the Labor/HHS portion of the bill worth $1 billion, compared to 3,071 projects worth $1.7 billion that were identified in the 2005 Congressional Pig Book, which was the last year that a Labor/HHS bill included earmarks. That represents a 35 percent decrease in the dollar amount associated with this year’s Labor/HHS projects, as well as a 26 percent decrease in the number of projects. In the Military Construction portion of the bill, the numbers were virtually the same as those CAGW included in the 2006 Congressional Pig Book. The 2008 bill contains 145 projects totaling $1.1 billion, compared to 144 projects worth $1 billion in 2006. The 2005 bill had 143 projects worth $974 million. Senate Labor/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) sponsored 67 labor, health, and education projects worth $76,935,000, and Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) inserted 180 projects costing $23,396,350.
Here are some outrageous examples of pork that members of the House and Senate included in the Labor/HHS bill:
● “That $1,500,000 shall be for a non-competitive grant to the AFL-CIO Working for American Institute, which shall be awarded not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this act: provided further, that $2,200,000 shall be for a non-competitive grant to the AFL-CIO Appalachian Council, Inc, for Job Corps career transition services, which shall be awarded not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this act.” There is no member identified with this earmark.
● $1,000,000 for Bismarck State College for an instrumentation and control training program for the energy industry, inserted by Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), and Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.).
● $882,025 for 25 projects to organizations in Pennsylvania for “abstinence education and related services,” inserted by Senate Labor/HHS Subcommittee Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.).
● $500,000 for the Charter School Development Foundation in Las Vegas for the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, inserted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Rep. Shelley Berkeley (D-Nev.).
● $400,000 for Jazz at Lincoln Center by Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.). That amount more than doubled in the conference report from $150,000 in the House bill.
● $400,000 for Guam Community College for skilled craft training, inserted by Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam).
● $350,000 for the Museum of Aviation Foundation, in Warner Robins, Georgia for educational programs, inserted by Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Ga.).
● $320,000 for the American Jazz Museum, Kansas City, MO, for exhibits and educational programs, and an archival project, sponsored by Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.).
● $300,000 for the Des Moines Art Center, for exhibits, sponsored by Senate Labor/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).
● $250,000 for the Alaska Sealife Center in Seward for a marine ecosystem education program, sponsored by Senate appropriator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).
● $175,000 for the Young at Art Children’s Museum, in Davie for the Global Village Project, inserted by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).
● $150,000 for the Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, for exhibits and community outreach, sponsored by Reps. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.) and Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill).
● $150,000 for the Burpee Museum for educational programming and exhibits, sponsored by Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Ill.).
● $150,000 for College Park Aviation Museum in College Park, for exhibits and educational programs, sponsored by House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).
● $150,000 for the History Museum of East Ottertail County, Perham, Minnesota for exhibits and equipment, sponsored by Collin Peterson (D-Minn.).
● $150,000 for Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, SUNY New Paltz, in New York for exhibits and programs, sponsored by Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.
Captain's Quarters was correct, they are using this as their reelection fund.
Now that it has been vetoed which they knew it would be, and they also know they do not have enough votes in either house to override the veto, so it was all a huge waste of time and our taxpayers money, so they now have to strip the pork out and send it back for signing.
Let me be clear here.
Bush should have been doing this to pork filled bills for years and he didn't.. THAT is on him and I am fully capable of admitting he was dead wrong to allow it to go on for so long.
Better late than never.