CAGW Releases Analysis of Senate Labor/HHS Bill

For Immediate Release
October 18, 2011


Contact:  Leslie K. Paige 202-467-5334 Luke Gelber 202-467-5318

Washington, D.C. – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today released its preliminary analysis of the Senate version of the fiscal year (FY) 2012 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. The bill allocates $742.4 billion, $19.7 billion more than the amount provided in FY 2011 and $16.3 billion below the President’s FY 2012 budget request.

Unfortunately for taxpayers, the bill contains $439 million for 16 earmarks that either were not requested by the administration or represent a substantial increase over the budget request, thus meeting CAGW’s long-established earmark criteria. These 16 earmarks represent a 97 percent decrease from the 729 contained in the FY 2011 Senate bill, while the $439 million represents a 24 percent decrease from the $580.9 million in FY 2011.

The Senate should be applauded for decreasing earmarks since FY 2011 and refusing to include funding for past earmarks, such as 73 projects worth $43.1 million for museums in FY 2010. However, any earmark is one too many given the current earmark moratorium and the fiscal state of the nation.

The following are examples of pork added by the Senate to the Labor/HHS bill:

  • $111,779,000 for programs to prevent substance abuse.
  • $42,914,000 for the Teacher Quality Partnership program (TQP). A March 2011 Government Accountability Office report that analyzed duplication within the federal government found that the TQP is one of 82 redundant teacher training programs.
  • $14,918,000 for rural hospital flexibility grants.
  • $6,990,000 for the Rural Community Facilities program.
  • $998,000 for the Training for Realtime Writers program, which provides grants to institutions of higher education to create programs to train closed caption writers.

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

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