Appropriations

Put a Fork In it! Earmarks are Dead ... Almost.

In a November 4, 2013 blog published in The Hill titled “Congress should return to responsible earmark policy,” former Rep. George Nethercutt (R-Wa.) claimed that failure to do so would create “purist legislators who largely disdain compromise, resist seniority, and refuse Congressional earmarks.” 

What If You Manufactured a Crisis, and No One Panicked?

On Friday, March 1st, 2013, the Second Mayan Apocalypse will occur – or so President Obama might have you believe.

One for Three, and Savings for All

“To sequester, or not to sequester?” That appears to be the question for many of our congressional Hamlets.

Rep. Pelosi’s Comment Misses the Mark on the U.S. Budget Problem

This weekend, House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) spoke with Chris Matthews on "Fox News Sunday."  During the interview, Pelosi delivered a quote that may be the early front runner for most absurd quote of 2013: “It is almost a false argument to say that we have a spending problem.

It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again: GAO Exposes Government Waste and Duplication at its Worst

On March 1, 2011, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published “Opportunities to Reduce Potential Duplication in Government Programs, Save Tax Dollars, and Enhance Revenue,” identifying 34 agencies, offices, and initiatives that provide similar or identical services to the same populations, along with 47 programs that are either wasteful or inefficient. The list includes 18 nutrition and food assistance programs, 47 job retraining programs, and 80 economic development programs, along with $77 billion of waste at the Department of Defense and $125 billion in improper payments by government agencies, among many others.

Earmark Moratorium: Earmarks Live On, Transparency Does Not

Considering that an earmark moratorium is in effect, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW)’s Pork Patrol sure seems to be uncovering a lot of earmarks.

When the one-year earmark moratorium was announced for fiscal year (FY) 2012, seasoned observers anticipated that earmarks would not disappear, but merely change shape. Judging by the 15 appropriations bills that CAGW has analyzed thus far, this viewpoint has been corroborated. Eleven of these bills contain earmarks, totaling 248 projects worth $9.5 billion. While the number has substantially decreased compared to prior years, any earmark violates the moratorium. Leading the way is the Department of Defense (DOD) bill, in which the Senate included 49 earmarks worth $2.9 billion and the House added 72 earmarks worth $3.9 billion.

Port Earmark Divides South Carolina Senators

Citing the need to modernize the Port of Charleston, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) submitted a $400,000 earmark to the Senate version of the fiscal year 2011 Energy and Water Appropriations Act to study the port’s potential deepening.  However, the Senate Appropriations Committee rejected the project. 

Congressmen Keep Pork Projects Cooking

Despite the moratorium on all earmarks agreed to by House Republicans on March 11, 2010, and a ban on earmarks to for-profit companies adoptedby House Democrats the previous day, both sides of the aisle are finding ways to circumvent their own rules. 

Pork Alert Roundup

On July 1, 2010, Citizens Against Government Waste began issuing its annual flurry of Pork Alerts, which highlight earmarks in the annual appropriation bills.  In a perfect world, the House and the Senate would each release a version of the 12 appropriations bills throughout the summer and early fall.  However, the process rarely runs that smoothly.

The Ongoing Farce of the “Emergency Supplementals”

As the House of Representatives rushed to finish legislative business in advance of the Memorial Day recess, the fate of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2010Supplemental Appropriations Bill was pushed off until lawmakers returnon June 8.  The bill allocates $37.5 billion to support ongoing war efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Unfortunately, it also piles on tens of billions of dollars in additional funding for dozens of non-emergency items, all of which add to the $1.56 trillion annual deficit and the national debt, which topped $13 trillion on May 25, 2010, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

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CAGW Names Rep. Tom Cole January 2018 Porker of the Month

Rep. Cole is CAGW's Porker of the Month for his leading role in the charge to revive wasteful and corruptive earmarks.