NATIONAL TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP URGES PRESIDENT TO VETO MILCON PORK

For Immediate Release Contact: Jim Campi
October 6, 1997 (202) 467-5300

 

(Washington, D.C.) – The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) today urged the President to wield his line-item veto pen to eliminate $941.6 million in pork included in the FY 1998 Military Construction Appropriations Conference Report.

“We urge you to act to reduce deficit spending by exercising your line-item veto authority to eliminate the many set-asides contained in the FY 1998 Military Construction Appropriations bill,” said CCAGW President Thomas A. Schatz.  “Doing so will demonstrate conclusively to Congress that you will no longer tolerate pork barrel spending.”

Working closely with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), CCAGW has identified 129 line-items in the bill 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 Congressional Pig Book, an annual compilation of wasteful spending perpetrated by members of Congress.

Examples of a few of the pork-barrel projects identified by CCAGW are as follows:

  • An earmark of $8.2 million for an education center at Fairchild Air Force Base, located in the home state of Senate Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).
  • An earmark of $4.5 million for a child development center at Camp Pendleton in the home state of House Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Ron Packard (R-Calif.).
  • An earmark of $6.8 million for a reserve center at Camp Dawson, West Virginia, in the home state of Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.).
  • An earmark of $9.1 million for a gym at Robbins Air Force Base in 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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