NATIONAL TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP URGES PRESIDENT TO VETO ENERGY AND WATER PORK

For Immediate Release Contact: Jim Campi
October 9, 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 $266.6 million in pork included in the FY 1998 Energy and Water Appropriations Conference Report.

“Every year, Congress funds Army Corps of Engineers projects that are not requested by the administration,” said CCAGW President Thomas A. Schatz in the letter.  “Army Corps of Engineers pork skyrocketed from $120 million in FY 1997 to more than $266 million in FY 1998.  We hope you will use this opportunity to eliminate funding for these projects identified by CCAGW’s Pork Patrol.”

Included with the letter is a list of 222 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 $30 million for environmental improvements in Southcentral Pennsylvania, the home state of House Energy and Water Appropriations Chairman Joseph McDade (R-Pa.).
  • An earmark of $3.65 million for an impact study of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, California, the home state of House Energy and Water Appropriations Ranking Member Vic Fazio (D-Calif.).  An additional $10.1 million was earmarked for general construction along the American River Watershed, also located in California.
  • An earmark of $6.6 million for general construction at St. Paul Harbor, Alaska, the home state of Senate Appropriations Chairman Ted Stevens (R-AK).  An additional $4.5 million was earmarked for construction at Chignik Harbor, also located in Alaska.
  • An earmark of $2 million for general construction on Tybee Island, Georgia, the home state of House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.).

“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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