Senate Releases MilCon/VA Bill With Earmarks

For Immediate Release
July 11, 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 Military Construction Appropriations Bill. The bill allocates $142 billion for military construction, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and related agencies, which is $1.25 billion below the budget request and $618 million below the FY 2011 funding level. Unfortunately for taxpayers, the bill contains $16.4 million for two earmarks that either were not requested by the President or greatly exceeded the budget request, thus meeting CAGW’s long-established earmark criteria. The insertion of the two earmarks by the Senate demonstrates significant restraint compared to the House, where the Agriculture, Energy and Water, and Defense appropriations bills contain far more pork.

On June 28, 2011, MilCon/VA Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) stated, “This bill is a disciplined and fiscally responsible effort to meet the needs of our troops in this difficult budget climate … It also responds to the growing needs of our nation’s veterans including those returning to the front lines.” While the bill displays self-control by senators, who in the past have requested dozens of earmarks for chapels and fitness facilities, any earmark is one too many.

CAGW President Tom Schatz said, “With a ballooning deficit and struggling economy, Congress should be scrutinizing every taxpayer dollar being spent instead of attempting to circumvent the current earmark moratorium. The Senate could take the lead by approving upcoming bills without any earmarks.”

The two earmarks added to the MilCon/VA bill are:

  • $10,000,000 for the Energy Conservation Investment Program, and
  • $6,365,000 for the Whitelaw Wedge Building Addition at Fort Gordon in Georgia.

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

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