CAGW Releases Analysis of Senate THUD Bill

For Immediate Release
October 20, 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 Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Bill.  The bill allocates $57.6 billion, $2.2 billion more than the amount provided in FY 2011 and $18.8 billion below the President’s FY 2012 budget request.  

Unfortunately for taxpayers, the bill contains $224.6 million for seven 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 seven earmarks represent a 98.8 percent decrease from the 590 contained in the FY 2011 Senate bill, while the $224.6 million represents an 89.8 percent decrease from the $2.2 billion in FY 2011.  The Senate should be applauded for decreasing earmarks since FY 2011 and refusing to include funding for the music halls, opera houses, theaters, and bike trails that have been earmarked in the past.  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 THUD Bill:

  • $100,000,000 for intercity rail service and high speed rail (HSR) corridors.  In addition to the $8 billion included in the stimulus package, President Obama asked for $53 billion over six years to develop HSR networks.  Congress does not value HSR to this extent, as the Senate funded only a fraction of the President’s request, and the House refused to commit taxpayer dollars.  Ten representatives from California introduced legislation on October 7, 2011 that would freeze the state’s HSR project through September 30, 2012 and commission a Government Accountability Office study to assess the project’s feasibility.
  • $57,000,000 for the Self-Help and Assisted Homeownership Opportunity Program.
  • $19,746,000 for the Essential Air Service.  According to a September 19, 2009 article in The Los Angeles Times, “The Essential Air Service spends as much as thousands per passenger in remote areas….opponents call the program wasteful spending, noting that much of the money provides service to areas with fewer than 30 passengers a day.”
  • $3,000,000 for the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant program.

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

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