NATIONAL TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP URGES PRESIDENT TO VETO AGRICULTURE PORK

For Immediate Release Contact: Jim Campi
September 24, 1997    (202) 467-5300

 

(Washington, D.C.) – In a letter to President Bill Clinton, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) today urged the President to wield his line-item veto pen to eliminate $152.4 million in pork included in FY 1998 Agriculture Appropriations Conference Report.

“We urge you to act to reduce deficit spending by exercising your line-item veto authority to eliminate the many earmarks and set-asides…contained in the FY 1998 Agriculture Appropriations bill,” said CCAGW President Thomas A. Schatz and Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) in their joint letter.

Included with the letter is a comprehensive list of line-items that meet at least one of CCAGW’s seven criteria for pork-barrel spending.  These criteria are:  (1) requested by only one chamber of Congress; (2) not specifically authorized; (3) not competitively awarded; (4) not requested in the President’s budget; (5) greatly exceeds the President’s budget request or FY 1997 funding levels; (6) not subject to congressional hearings; or (7) serves only a local or special interest.  CCAGW uses these criteria in the organization’s annual Congressional Pig Book, an annual compilation of wasteful spending perpetrated by members of Congress.

Examples of a few of the pork-barrel projects identified in the letter to the White House are as follows:

  • An earmark of $3.4 million from the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) for the study of shrimp aquaculture in Arizona, Hawaii, Mississippi, Massachusetts, and California.
  • An earmark of $150,000 from the CSREES fund for the National Center for Peanut Competitiveness.
  • An earmark of $6 million to complete construction of the National Center for Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture in Leetown, West Virginia.
  • An earmark of $500,000 for the National Warmwater Aquaculture Research Center in Mississippi, which also directs that the center be renamed the Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center.

“A President with line-item veto authority is unique in American history,” noted Schatz.  “President Clinton has an obligation to use his new power to cut wasteful spending and protect the public from the big spenders in Congress.”

CCAGW is a 600,000 member lobbying organization dedicated to seeking enactment of legislation to eliminate waste, inefficiency, mismanagement and abuse in the federal government.

 

 

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