TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP CONDEMNS POLITICS AND PORK-BARRELING IN KOSOVO APPROPRIATION | Citizens Against Government Waste

TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP CONDEMNS POLITICS AND PORK-BARRELING IN KOSOVO APPROPRIATION

Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Jim Campi
May 11, 1999(202) 467-5300

 

(Washington, D.C.) – The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), America's largest taxpayer advocacy group, today condemned pork-barrel spending in the appropriations bill for military operations in Kosovo.  The emergency supplemental appropriation was requested by the Clinton administration to replenish funds expended by NATO operations in the war-torn Balkans.

The House and Senate are currently negotiating a complex conference report that includes the $13 billion defense supplemental, as well as disaster relief funds for both the U.S. agricultural sector and victims of Hurricane Mitch.  The Senate version of the disaster relief bill is more than twice as large as the House bill and loaded with pork; the House version of the defense supplemental doubles what President Clinton and the Senate want to spend.

“The usual outcome of these negotiations is a rapid increase in the cost of the bill,” said CCAGW President Thomas A. Schatz.  “Instead of a $6 billion defense bill and a $1.5 billion disaster relief bill, the taxpayers could be hit with their own disaster – an obscene $20 billion emergency spending bill.  Members of Congress who argue that the money doesn’t count against the deficit are whistling in the dark – all emergency spending adds to the national debt and comes out of the Social Security surplus.”

CCAGW has demanded a “clean” supplemental appropriation, eliminating items that relate to the tobacco settlement, a federal bailout of the steel industry, and millions for the oil and gas industry. 

“As our sons and daughters risk their lives in a faraway land, they deserve respect from their elected officials.  After all of the heart-wrenching images of hurricane devastation in Central America and hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians being forced to leave their homes in Kosovo, one would hope that even jaded members of Congress would display true patriotism and rise above parochial concerns.  If they don't, taxpayers have every right to express their frustration at the ballot box next year," Schatz concluded.

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

 

 

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