Monday, April 24, 2006

Emergency Pork

Seeing no end to their craven need to fortify vulnerable congressional seats, the Senate continues to demonstrate an unfailing resolve to supporting self-servicing missions with taxpayer money.

In the run-up to fall elections this year, the Senate has added some $10 billion in earmarks to an emergency spending bill that had originally been designed for supplemental war funding and hurricane relief. However, with some senators facing a lack of voter confidence and a possible ouster in November, a few of the vulnerables decided to add some slabs of pork fat to the bill with billions in frivolous earmarks to the emergency legislation:
$100,000 for South Carolina's International Center for Automotive Research, $500,000 for the Institute for Orthopedic Biomaterials Research in Fort Wayne, Ind., and millions for several projects in Alaska.

Appropriations includes $4 million for farm subsidies, $20 million for AmeriCorps, and $2 million for the "United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission for projects to study Chinese policies and practices and their impacts on American interests, the American economy and small businesses."
Hardly what one might describe as "emergency" measures. Unless, of course, you're a Senator worried about your seat in November. And with "millions" heading to their state, it certainly looks like the Alaska Familia had quite a hand in the supplemental pie, an effort no doubt led by Senator Ted Stevens, don of the Northwest mafioso.
The Senate added $14 billion for hurricane relief, and another $10 billion in unrelated spending in amendments....
Chairman of the Senate Appropriations homeland security subcommittee, Judd Gregg (R-NH), said he would not back the amendment unless the earmarks are stripped.
The total cost of this supplemental for the war on terror and Katrina costs has ballooned out of control with additional, nonrelated items being added on top of the requests made by the president....

An emergency supplemental should only be used to fund emergency items. We cannot continue to operate two separate accounting books. We must take action to limit the use of emergency funding for nonemergency items.
I expect this will be quite a fight though it certainly cannot be expected that any of this pork will disappear, just as it failed to do when the transportation bill passed last fall, earmarks fully intact, despite the ostensible yowling.

No wonder the Chinese and the Saudis are signing bilateral trade agreements and trying to remove themselves from continuing to fund America's ballooning debts. Since 2001, debt building has been given free reign to explode out of all proportion by these fiscally incompetent, politically self-serving simpletons, a group of wretched hacks more concerned with their election prospects than with doing the "work of the people."


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