CAGW Names Rep. Peter DeFazio January 2019 Porker of the Month | Citizens Against Government Waste

CAGW Names Rep. Peter DeFazio January 2019 Porker of the Month

Porker of the Month

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) January 2019 Porker of the Month for making ill-advised and irresponsible comments in support of pork-barrel earmarks.

At an event in Washington, D.C. on December 5, 2018, Chairman DeFazio called the congressional moratorium on earmarks, “nonsensical” and predicted that if the wasteful practice was resurrected, “you might get some projects done that [the Department of Transportation] is ignoring.”

Chairman DeFazio conveniently overlooks the process for approving transportation projects, which is based on merit and need.  A 2007 Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General report stated that, “earmarked projects considered by the agencies as low priority are being funded over higher priority, non-earmarked projects,” and, “some earmarks are providing funds for projects that would otherwise be ineligible.”  Like most pork-pushing politicians, Chairman DeFazio intends to circumvent the approval process in just this way and spend taxpayer dollars on his preferred local special interests. 

The infamous earmark era was chock full of waste and corruption in connection with the practice.  The earmark moratorium in 2011 was implemented after a decade of high-profile boondoggles such as the Bridge to Nowhere, the Teapot Museum, and the indoor rainforest in Iowa; and scandals that resulted in jail terms for Reps. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-Calif.) and Bob Ney (R-Ohio), and lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The 2018 Congressional Pig Book exposed 232 earmarks in FY 2018 costing taxpayers $14.7 billion.  Since 1991, Congress has approved 110,861 earmarks costing $344.5 billion.  The last major infrastructure bill contained nearly 3,700 pet projects costing taxpayers $24 billion. 

CAGW President Tom Schatz said, “Chairman DeFazio’s reckless comments do not portend good news for his chairmanship of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.  By expressing such a zealous defense of earmarks, he will not have taxpayers’ best interests at heart.”

For defending the most wasteful and corruptive practice in congressional history, CAGW names Rep. Peter DeFazio it’s January 2019 Porker of the Month.

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.  Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.

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