Pork Alert: Senate Homeland Insecurity | Citizens Against Government Waste

Pork Alert: Senate Homeland Insecurity

Press Release

For Immediate Release
August 5, 2008
Contacts:        Leslie K. Paige (202) 467-5334
Alexa Moutevelis (202) 467-5318


Washington, D.C.Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today released its preliminary analysis of the Senate version of the Fiscal 2009 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act.  There are 17 projects for a total of $133 million in this year’s Senate DHS bill.  To paraphrase an earlier classic quote by Senate appropriator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), the Senate Subcommittee on Homeland Security made out “like a bandit” on this bill; 92 percent of the total appropriated funds, or nearly $123 million, went to members of the Subcommittee.

The following are some outrageous examples of pork that senators added to the Homeland Security bill:

  • $39.7 million for the Advanced Training Center, which trains border agents, by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), although the Bush Administration has not requested funding to expand the center.  Sen. Byrd requested and received the same amount for the project in fiscal year 2008.
  • $27 million by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee member Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) for the Southeast Region Research Initiative in Tennessee.  The website for this program has no white papers or reports of their research available, only project descriptions.
  • $22.3 million by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) for the National Center for Critical Information Processing and Storage in Mississippi, which “seeks to consolidate and safely store information critical to the operations of the federal government.”
  • $4.5 million by Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) for the 2010 Olympics Coordination Center in Bellingham, Washington. According to Sen. Murray’s website, the Center “would allow federal, state, and local officials to meet, prepare and coordinate a response to any incident from one location.”  Although the Olympics will be held in Vancouver, Canada, “the Center would only be twenty-three miles away from the Canadian border, as opposed to 110 miles to Seattle or 155 miles to the Washington State Military Department.”

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.

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