Citizens Against Government Waste Releases 2023 Congressional Pig Book | Citizens Against Government Waste

Citizens Against Government Waste Releases 2023 Congressional Pig Book

Press Release

April 27, 2023
For Immediate Release
April 27, 2023
Contact: Alexandra Abrams (202-467-5310)

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) released its 2023 Congressional Pig Book, the 31st edition of the group’s exposé on pork-barrel spending. 

CAGW President Tom Schatz was joined in a virtual press conference on CAGW’s Facebook Live by Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.).  Pre-recorded video messages were provided by Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.)Steve Daines (R-Mont.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Reps. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.), Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), and Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.).

2023 Congressional Pig Book facts:

  • The 2023 Congressional Pig Book exposes $26.1 billion in earmarks in fiscal year (FY) 2023, an increase of 38.1 percent from the $18.9 billion in earmarks in FY 2022. 
  • The $26.1 billion cost is the third highest behind only the record $29 billion in FY 2006 and $27.3 billion in FY 2005.  
  • Since 1991, CAGW has identified 124,212 earmarks costing taxpayers $437.5 billion.

Earmarks and Oinkers:

  • Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) received “The Whole Hog Award” for 18 earmarks costing $666,406,000, by far the highest amount of any member of Congress.
  • Sen. Cindy-Hyde Smith (R-Miss.) received “The Strange Bedfellows Award” for $6,000,000 for the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library at Mississippi State University in Starkville.
  • Rep. Ed Case (D-Hawaii) received “The You Cannot be Serious Award” for $250,000 for the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii, which had a fund balance of $60.7 million in 2020.
  • Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) received “The Boot-Scootin’ Piggie Award” for $500,000 for the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.
  • Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) received the “Atlantic Fleeced Award” for $4,000,000 for the Bahamian Museum of Arts and Culture in Nassau, Bahamas.
  • Rep. Marc Pocan (D-Wisc.) received the “Singing a Sour Note for Taxpayers Award” for $250,000 to restore the Driver Opera House in Darlington, Wisconsin.

CAGW President Tom Schatz said in a statement:

“At a time when Americans continue to suffer from the highest inflation in 40 years, members of Congress increased the cost of earmarks by 38.1 percent, or more than seven times the 5 percent rate of inflation.  There is no good news in that number other than the formal return of earmarks at least gives taxpayers more information about which members of Congress are bringing home the bacon and which received CAGW’s Oinker Awards.  More than 99 percent of Democrats got earmarks compared to 49 percent of Republicans, and only two of the top 50 porkers were from the House of Representatives.  The top five porkers, representing less than 1 percent of the 535 members of Congress, got $2.7 billion, equal to 10.3 percent of the total cost of earmarks.  The 89 members of the House and Senate appropriations committees, equal to 17 percent of Congress, got 41.4 percent of the earmarks and 29.9 percent of the money, similar to FY 2022, and proving once again that earmarks disproportionately benefit those who sit on powerful committees.  The members of Congress who agreed to restore and take earmarks are willfully ignoring or have forgotten why this corrupt, costly, and inequitable practice was first subject to the moratorium.  The 2023 Congressional Pig Book is a must read and shows why bringing back earmarks is a slap in the face to every taxpayer.”

Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.


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Alexandra Abrams
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