1991 Congressional Pig Book | Citizens Against Government Waste

1991 Congressional Pig Book

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The Congressional Pig Book is CAGW's annual compilation of the pork-barrel projects in the federal budget. To qualify as pork, a project must meet one of seven criteria that were developed in 1991 by CAGW and the Congressional Porkbusters Coalition.


As in the past, Members of Congress will cry that spending has been cut to the bone and that we need more taxes. As this book proves, nothing could be further from the truth. This book contains only a small partial listing of the more than $4 billion Congress will waste this year on porkbarrel spending.

If you are not familiar with the term “congressional porkbarrel spending,” it refers to the appropriations which individual congressmen and senators make to win votes and curry favor with special interest groups in their home districts.

Porkbarrel spending includes programs which serve no national interest, such as the building of roads which go virtually nowhere, or the study of insects, plants and animals which have already been researched or pose no threat to the American people. An excellent example is the $33 million Congress is spending to study the Screwworm. Screwworms were long ago eradicated from all American farms.

Clearly there is no need for Congress to again raise our taxes—only a need for them to repeal this obscene, self-serving waste of our tax dollars.

Combined with the contributions of our allies, there is enough Congressional porkbarrel waste to nearly pay for the entire cost of Operation Desert Storm.

The February issue of Reader’s Digest summed up the problem we face when an article entitled, Dirty Secrets Behind the Budget Mess, responded that,

“When the five-year “deficit reduction” agreement was reached last fall, officials claimed $42 billion in savings. That’s a sham. What they didn’t mention is that actual spending will increase by $111 billion, or $480 for every man, woman, and child in the nation. Worse, the deficit, according to the government’s own official figures, will grow larger.”

In short, this Congress is not playing it straight with the American people, and what’s worse, it is bankrupting our nation. Our only hope is if we stop their spending now, and the best place to start is with the waste contained in this CCAGW 1991 Congressional Pig Book.

All items in the Congressional Pig Book meet at least one of CAGW’s seven criteria, but most satisfy at least two:

  • Requested by only one chamber of Congress;
  • Not specifically authorized;
  • Not competitively awarded;
  • Not requested by the President;
  • Greatly exceeds the President’s budget request or the previous year’s funding;
  • Not the subject of congressional hearings; or
  • Serves only a local or special interest.

I. Transportation

$471 million earmarked in highway projects above the President’s request, using interstate Highway TRUST Funds which are supposed to be used on federal roads, including:

$137 million or 29% of the total, which more than doubles the amount of money allocated to West Virginia under the state-by-state formula for federal aid to the highways, for four projects to “relieve traffic congestion, improve highway safety and promote economic benefits” in counties, cities and towns which have declined in population over the past ten years, at the behest of Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV).

$38 million for the state of Michigan, including $850,000 for a bicycle path in Macomb County, form Rep. David Bonior (D-MI).

$30 million for the state of New York, including $6.8 million for a series of highway railroad grade crossings in Mineola, on which 31 million taxpayer dollars have already been wasted, by Rep. Bob Mrazek, (D-NY).

$10.2 million for ramp and reconstruction to improve access privately-owned stadium in Milwaukee, with the help of Sen. Bob Krasten (R-WI).

$7 million in additional funding above the President’s request for the intelligent vehicle/ highway systems (IVHS). After the House states that there are no agreed-upon goals and a lack of public-private coordination for the IVHS, and refused to earmark funds for  specific projects, Senators Lautenberg (D-NJ) and D’Amato (R-NY) teamed up to provide $3 million for the New York and New Jersey transportation department for traffic management activities, and Republican Martin Olave Sabo (D-MN) got $1 million for the guidestar project on I-394 in Minnesota.

$48 million in preliminary engineering funds for highway demonstration projects, for which the final bill could reach in the billions of dollars; for example……

$1.7 million for the preliminary engineering on an $18.6 million project to turn Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami into “an exotic garden for people to enjoy the richness of city life,” with 90 foot wide medians sculpted with tropical plants, broad sidewalks and miles of brick walkways, with the help of Rep. William Lehman (D- FL).

$1 million for a study of bicycling and walking safety, to “determine current levels of bicycling and walking and identify the reason why they are not better used as a means of transportation,” put in by Rep. Martin Olav Sabo (D-MN).

II. Interior

$271 million in new construction funds for the National Park Service, more than three times the administration’s request, which prompted Park Service officials to call it the  “national pork service,” including: 

$13 million for “America’s Industrial Heritage,” a theme park covering 9 industrial sites in southwestern Pennsylvania, courtesy of Rep. John Murtha (D-PA).

$11 million for “Steamtown,” in Scranton, called a “third-rate collection in a place to which it has no relevance” by a former transportation curator from the Smithsonian Museum, by Rep. Joe McDade (R-PA). 

$590,000 for planning a park and museum at the Cordell Hull National Historic Site in Tennessee, at the behest of Sen. Albert Gore, Jr. (D-TN), at the birthplace of FDR’s Secretary of State. The park service has never funded any home for any secretary of state, only presidents.

$4.5 million to renovate the Keith-Albee Theater in Huntington, West Virginia, and turn it into a four-screen multiplex theater, with the help of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV).

$2 million for the Native Hawaiian Culture and Arts Program to construct and sail and ancient canoe to depict what native Hawaiians had to do to migrate, courtesy of Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka (D-HI).

III. Housing

$53.8 million for 61 projects in the Department of housing and urban Development,  approved without any hearings on the merits, including: 

$2.5 million for the removal of asbestos and site clearing activities at the privately-held  Rath Packing Plant in Waterloo, $2 million for site work for economic redevelopment in  Sioux City, and $2 million for completing demolition of the privately-owned Old Morrel  site in Ottumwa, Iowa, by Rep. Neal Smith (D-IA). 

$1.3 million to assist in job retention for agricultural workers at the privately-owned  Hamakua sugar cane mills in Hawaii, courtesy of Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI). 

$995,000 for a private performing arts center in North Miami Beach, Florida, from Rep.  William Lehman (D-FL). 

$795,000 to rehabilitate the Old Spot Office Building in Lynn, Massachusetts, by Rep.  Silvio Conte (R-MA).

IV. General Services Administration

$10 million for the Federal Executive Training Center in Avondale, Maryland, added by  Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD).

V. Defense

$5 million for the design and construction of a parliament building in the Soloman  Islands, in the Department of Defense appropriation bill, which was put in the Rep. Steve  Solarz (D-NY). It is a mystery as to how this will help defend American lives and  property. 

$4 million for a Japanese-American Museum in Ontario, Oregon, with the help of Sen.  Mark Hatfield (R-OR) and Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI), which is not being funded with  private donations like the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. and other  similar museums. 

$3.4 million for a medical/ dining facility for the Air National Guard in Reno, Nevada,  which includes a $1 million add-on by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV).

VI. Energy and Water

$92.6 million to continue the Red River waterway to Sen. Bennett Johnston’s hometown  of Shreveport, LA, enacted just as the senator faced a tough reelection. It is the largest  single navigation project in the bill and represents 8 percent of all funds spent on water  projects in FY 1991. The administration had requested the project end at Colfax, LA, but  Johnson added two more locks. The bill also contains $1.9 million to extend the Waterway to Dangerfield, Texas.

VII. Foreign Aid

$20 million for the International Fund for Ireland, a parting gift for former House  Speaker Tip O’Neil, which last year included: 

$8.6 million in aid for tourism, which was not supposed to be provided, for such items as  $1.9 million for an “all Ireland genealogy project,” $221,000 for a theater, $114,000 on a  golf video, and $56,000 for two “pony trekking” centers. 

$1.9 million in business-related funds, for such items as $304,000 for an investment drive  to Boston, $285,000 to “establish for Northern Ireland a leading reputation for quality,”  and $127,300 to help Boston stores sell Northern Ireland crafts. 

$10 million to retire the debt of the privately owned University of Central America in El  Salvador, owed to the Inter-American Development Bank. This is on top of $3.8 billion  given to El Salvador since 1980, and $180 million in economic aid in FY 1991.

VIII. Legislative Branch

Spending on the legislative branch went up by 11% and as Congress raised taxes it also  lavished itself with the following non-essentials at taxpayer expense: 

$6 million to upgrade the Senate subway system, running two blocks to the Capitol. 

$811,000 on a new hazardous waste disposal program. 

$500,000 for planning the relocation of the Senate Computer Center. 

$350,000 to restore the House beauty salon. 

$50,000 for travel, by the Architect of the Capitol, $30,000 of which will go to find a  remote site for the possible transfer of “certain financial accounting processing:” perhaps  the site is another planet. 

$40,000 to acquire new trash receptacles. 

$25,000 to study the location for a new House staff gymnasium.

IX. Agriculture

$2.8 million for construction and renovation of facilities at the Stuttgart Faring  Experimental Station in Stuttgart, Arkansas, by Sen. Dale Bumpers (D-AR). 

$94,000 for apple quality research in Michigan to evaluate factors affecting apple quality,  including surface color, shape, ripeness, firmness, texture, flavor, sugar to acid ratio and  blemishes, by Rep. Bob Traxier (D-MI).

X. Commerce, State, and Justice

$19.5 million in Small Business Administration grants, including: 

$15 million for a four-year $105 million program of Natural Resources Development,  which consists of grants to states to contract with small businesses to plant trees on land  owned by state or local governments. This project, previously rejected in small business  legislation, was put in conference by Rep/ Neal Smith (D-IA), former chairman of the  house Small Business Administration budget.

$1 million, also from Rep. Smith, to establish a Central European Enterprise  Development Commission to “evaluate appropriate Small Business Development Center  programs that might be replaced to meet the needs of the countries,” which if it means  providing small business loans as has the SBA, losses will be 11% of total lending, and  defaults will be close to 20%. 

$200,000 to Central Arkansas University to establish a national communications and data  center for the Small Business Institute program, from Sen. Dale Bumpers (D-AR).

XI. 1990 Farm Bill

$500,000 to restore the home of Lawrence Welk in Stasburg, North Dakota, population 553, which was not requested by the Welk family and was put in by Sen. Quentin Burdock.

XII. Rural Development, Agriculture, and Related Agencies

$75,000 for Plant Stress Research, Lubbock, TX. 

$260,000 for Cranberry/blueberry disease and breeding, NJ 

$500,000 for Africanized bee research 

$33,391,000 for Screwworm research 

$4232,000 for Imported Fire Ant Research 

$9,688,000 for Animal Welfare 

$250,000 for Sheep Experiment station, Dubois, ID 

$250,000 for Sweet potato research 

$275,000 for Alternative marine and fresh water species, MS 

$94,000 for Asparagus Yield Decline, MI 

$67,000 for Belgian Endive, MA 

$33,000 for dairy and beef photoperiod, MI 

$125,000 for Leafy surge biocontrol, MT 

$2,246,000 for Michigan Institute 

$47,000 for Peanut breeding, GA 

$283,000 for Stone Fruit decline, MI 

$357,000 for World Food Systems, IN, OH 

$337,000 for Poultry and Isolation Facility, University of Arkansas 

$157,000 for Massardis Research Farm, ME 

$150,000 for Presque Isle Farm Building Consolidation, ME 

$3,000,000 for Solid Waste Managements Grant 

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