Pork Alert: Senators “Squeal and Deal” Over SBA Projects | Citizens Against Government Waste

Pork Alert: Senators “Squeal and Deal” Over SBA Projects

For Immediate Release
September 19, 2007

Contacts: Leslie K. Paige (202) 467-5334 :
Alexa Moutevelis (202) 467-5318

 

 Washington, D.C. - Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today released a list of the most egregious Small Business Administration (SBA) pork-barrel projects in the Senate version of the Fiscal 2008 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act.  According to SBA’s official website, it was created in 1953 “as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.”  Unfortunately, Congress’s business includes pork-barreling, which protects incumbents and is the antithesis of competition.

The cost of the 75 SBA pork projects in the Senate bill is $36 million, an average of $480,000 per project.  Both sides of the aisle fed at the trough, as shown by some of the more outrageous examples of pork that senators added to the Financial Services bill:  

  • $4 million requested by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), including $500,000 to Jackson State University for continuation of the Lynch Street Corridor redevelopment;
  • $3 million requested by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), including $2 million to Haddad Riverfront Park in Charleston, West Virginia for renovations;
  • $2.7 million for projects requested by Senate Financial Services Subcommittee Chairman Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), including $250,000 to Illinois State University for a business incubator;
  • $1.3 million requested by Senate Financial Services Subcommittee member Kit Bond (R-Mo.), including $750,000 to the University of Missouri for an Asian Equities Research Center in Kansas City;
  • $1.3 million requested by Senate Financial Services Subcommittee member Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), including $300,000 to the Mitchell College of Business for a business library and career resource center;
  • $525,000 requested by Senate Financial Services Subcommittee member Patty Murray (D-Wash.), including $400,000 to the Northwest Agriculture Business Center in Burlington, Washington;
  • $500,000 requested by Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) to the University of Arkansas for a research and technology park;
  • $350,000 requested by Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) to the Tribal Governance and Economic Development Center in Mashpee, Massachusetts;
  • $250,000 requested by appropriator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) to the Center for Entrepreneurial Growth in Hamilton County, Tennessee; and
  • $100,000 requested by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) to the Southeastern Louisiana University Hispanic Business and Leadership Institute in Hammond, Louisiana.

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

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