TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP URGES CONFEREES TO CUT THE FAT FROM AGRICULTURE SPENDING | Citizens Against Government Waste

TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP URGES CONFEREES TO CUT THE FAT FROM AGRICULTURE SPENDING

Press Release

For Immediate Release   Contact:  Jim Campi or Aaron Taylor
September 24, 1999(202) 467-5300

 

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste identifies

more than $100 million in pork in the Agriculture Appropriations bill.

(Washington, D.C.) – In a letter to conferees, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) urged members of the Fiscal 2000 Agriculture Appropriations Conference Committee to cut the fat out of the $70 billion agriculture spending bill.  According to CCAGW, the House and Senate versions of the bill (H.R. 1906/S. 1233) contain at least 181 earmarks costing taxpayers more than $100 million.

“These earmarks clearly indicate that the time-honored ritual of bringing home the bacon is alive and well in the hallowed halls of Congress,” remarked CCAGW President Thomas A. Schatz in the letter.  “These parochial pork-barrel projects are not only bad farm policy, they are also bad for the taxpayers of America.”

Among the ill-considered and often ridiculous morsels wallowing this year’s agriculture spending bill are:  $650,000 for researching alternative salmon products in the state of Senate Appropriations Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska); $100,000 for yet another year of vidalia onion research in the district of House Agriculture Committee member Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.); and $500,000 for research into swine waste management at North Carolina State University, in the district of House Appropriator David Price (D-N.C.).

Senate appropriators even managed to rationalize the need for a $1.2 million grant to the Viticulture Consortium, a corporate welfare handout if there ever was one.  “These porcine projects have nothing to do with this nation’s agriculture priorities,” Schatz said.

In the letter, Schatz warned conferees not to succumb to the temptation to add even more unnecessary spending to an already pork-laden bill.  “As a conferee, I urge you to take your obligation to the taxpayers seriously and cut the fat out of this bill.”

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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