CAGW’s Pork PatrolSM takes a closer look at fiscal 2001 transportation pork | Citizens Against Government Waste

CAGW’s Pork PatrolSM takes a closer look at fiscal 2001 transportation pork

Press Release

The House and Senate transportation bills for fiscal 2001 allocate money to usual transportation issues such as airport renovations.  But also included in the bill are several non-transportation items, obvious earmarks made by appropriators.  Citizens Against Government Waste has identified more than $750 million in pork projects within the transportation bill.  The proposed budget is currently in conference.  A few examples of transportation bacon are:

  • Nevada Transportation Pork: Senate Appropriator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) secured more than $14 million for five projects in his home state. Included is $2 million for a study at UNLV that would develop a system to allow airline passengers to get boarding passes at their hotels.
  • Talkeetna, Alaska Parking Lot: Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), Appropriations Committee chair and winner of several CAGW oinker awards, scored $400,000 for a parking lot in this small Alaska town.  This figure represents only a fraction of Stevens’ transportation pork.  Stevens secured $43 million in earmarks in the Senate transportation bill.
  • Railroad Museum, New Mexico: Senator Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) promises the pork he secures for his home state “could improve transportation for the entire nation.”  But CAGW wonders how $200,000 for a museum in Las Cruces will help the rest of the nation.  The appropriator’s remark is just a poorly constructed defense for his passion for pork.
  • Asphalt Technology Research, Auburn University: Senate Appropriator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) earmarked $2.5 million for this program that promises to answer one of the most pressing national concerns: is it better to use stone or gravel when mixing asphalt?  That National Center for Asphalt Technology already receives huge sums from local transportation departments and private donors.  Does it really need Shelby’s bacon bits?
  • Savannah, Ga. Water Taxi: With the help on some friends on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Savannah, Ga. will receive $500,000 for a water taxi.  Water taxis are popular trade-offs.  Senate appropriators gave $1 million in 1999 and 2000 to Seattle for water taxis.
  • Illus Davis Mall, Kansas City: Renovations for this civic mall will be paid for, in part, by $350,000 in federal funds.  The mall is named after a prominent former city council member. This is enough cause for Senate Appropriator Kit Bond (R-Mo.) to saddle up to the federal trough.
  • Pioneer Courthouse Square Renovation: Another non-transportation issue and another apparent trade-off. Oregonians must know a few good appropriations porkers as they managed to get $400,000 appropriated for this purely local project.
  • Buckeye Greenbelt Beautification: All the trees and flowers in the world couldn’t cover the stench of bacon that eminates from this project.  House appropriator Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) secured $250,000 for trees and flowers for her home state.
  • Twin Cities Pork: Playing with taxpayer dollars is like a leisurely porker game for Minneapolis representative Martin Sabo (R-Minn.).  Sabo said, “ I am proud to have earmarked millions for the Twin Cities.”  While gambling with taxpayer funds, Sabo brought home more than $14 million for the Twin Cities in the transportation bill.


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