Pork Alert: Senate Agriculture Appropriations | Citizens Against Government Waste

Pork Alert: Senate Agriculture Appropriations

Press Release

For Immediate Release
July 27, 2009

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


Washington, D.C.Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today released its preliminary analysis of the Senate version of the fiscal year 2010 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.  In total, there are 296 projects worth $220.7 million.  Subcommittee leaders claimed more than their fair share of the $220.7 million in earmarks, with Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) taking $12.3 million for 11 projects and Subcommittee Ranking Member Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) receiving $11.5 million for 12 projects.  Their combined total accounts for 10.8 percent of the total amount in the bill.

The following are examples of some of the pork that was added to the bill:

  • $4,841,000 for wood utilization research in 10 states by 13 senators.  This research has cost taxpayers $95.3 million since 1985.  One would think that at this point, all the uses of one of the world’s most basic construction materials would have been discovered.
  • $1,037,000 by Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee member Susan Collins (R-Maine), Senate appropriator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) for potato research at Oregon State University, the University of Idaho, Washington State University, and the University of Maine.  According to foodreference.com, the average American consumes more than 16 pounds of french fries each year.
  • $1,000,000 by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for Mormon crickets in Nevada.  On February 27, 2009 Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) mocked this earmark on his Twitter page, writing, “$1 million for Mormon cricket control - is that the species of cricket or a game played by the brits?”
  • $300,000 by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) for shrimp aquaculture at the University of Southern Mississippi.
  • $120,000 by Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) for conservation internships through the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association.  The Wisconsin Ag Connection, a website that is dedicated to helping the agriculture industries in Wisconsin, stated that these funds “support an internship program to give college students embarking on natural resource careers real world experience.”  Unpaid interns everywhere are outraged over this funding.

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

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