2022 Congressional Pig Book | Citizens Against Government Waste

2022 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. A "pork" project is a line-item in an appropriations bill that designates tax dollars for a specific purpose in circumvention of established budgetary procedures. To qualify as pork, a project must meet one of seven criteria that were developed in 1991 by CAGW and the Congressional Porkbusters Coalition.


Just in time for the 30th anniversary of the Congressional Pig Book, members of Congress overturned the 2011 earmark moratorium and formally restored them in fiscal year (FY) 2022.

On February 26, 2021, House Democrats revived the practice, House Republicans agreed to restore them on March 17, 2021, and Senate Democrats followed suit on April 26, 2021.  Senate Republicans voted to uphold the moratorium on April 21, 2021,  but the agreement was nonbinding, and many of them received earmarks.

The new earmarks, despite a futile attempt to cover them up by designating them as “Community Project Funding,” are similar to the old earmarks that were included in the appropriations bills passed by Congress during FYs 2008-2010, which required that the names of the members who received earmarks be listed in each bill.  The new rules are as follows:  each member is allowed to request up to 10 projects; requests are posted online; a list of projects funded is published when the subcommittee or committee marked up a bill; for-profit entities are not eligible; and members certify that they, their spouse, and their family have no financial interest in the project.

In order to receive funding, there must be “evidence of community support that were compelling factors” in deciding which projects to request.  This limitation is prima face absurd, since it includes every expenditure from building a weapons system to programs and projects funded by hundreds of agencies and programs that include community, development, economic, or similar words in their title.  It also describes the normal system of requesting money from competitive grant programs.  The projects that would be requested as earmarks were by their very nature not funded because the agencies rejected them based on statutory criteria established by Congress.  As a result, the end product looked awfully similar to the old system used by members of Congress prior to the establishment of the earmark moratorium. 

It is in this climate that Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) releases the 2022 Congressional Pig Book.  This year’s release exposes 5,138 earmarks, an increase of 1,702.8 percent from the 285 in FY 2021, at a cost of $18.9 billion, an increase of 18.9 percent from the $15.9 billion in earmarks in FY 2021.  The cost of the FY 2022 earmarks is 14.5 percent higher than the $16.5 billion in FY 2010, the last year prior to the moratorium, while the number of earmarks is a 43.7 percent decline from the 9,129 projects in FY 2010.  Since FY 1991, CAGW has identified 116,816 earmarks costing $411.4 billion.

While CAGW exposed earmarks in the appropriations bills every year since the moratorium, the agreement succeeded in reducing the cost and number of the projects.  Members of Congress passed the 12 appropriations bills in nine years during the moratorium, adding on average 192 earmarks costing $9.4 billion.  In the nine years prior to the earmark moratorium, legislators on average added 9,542 earmarks costing $20.9 billion.

Earmarks continue to provide the most benefit to those with spots on prime congressional committees.  In FY 2022, the 89 members of the House and Senate appropriations committees, making up only 17 percent of Congress, were responsible for 41.1 percent of the earmarks and 29.1 percent of the money.  As the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) explained regarding those making the case for earmarks, “The problem with all their arguments is:  the more powerful you are, the more likely it is you get the earmark in.  Therefore, it is a corrupt system.”

Indeed, the most powerful legislators unduly benefited from the return of earmarks.  Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) received by far the highest dollar amount of earmarks.  His 16 earmarks cost $647,936,000, which is $270,437,000 (71.6 percent) more than the legislator in second place, Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.), who received six earmarks costing $377,499,000.

Three more senators were in the top five:  Senate Appropriations Committee member Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who received 31 earmarks costing $361,193,000; Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who received 205 earmarks costing $316,024,824; and Senate Appropriations Committee member Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who received 48 earmarks costing $313,265,000.  These five members of Congress together received $2,015,917,824, or 10.7 percent of the FY 2022 earmarks.

The new system of earmarking benefited senators far more than representatives, as the top 50 earmark recipients by dollar featured only two legislators from the lower chamber, and Democrats far more than Republicans.  There were 273 Democrats, or 99.3 percent of the 275, who received 5,435 earmarks totaling $8,510,474,770, while 120 Republicans, or 45.8 percent of the 262, received 1,320 earmarks costing $4,952,024,395.  Because multiple legislators often requested the same earmark, the combined individual totals exceed the total number and dollar value of earmarks attributed to members of Congress in the bills.

Like the earmarks prior to the moratorium, states with smaller populations got a disproportionate amount, especially if they had members on powerful committees.  Alaska ($337.07 per resident) received the most pork per capita, calculated as dollars in earmarks relative to population, followed by Vermont ($312.51 per resident), Hawaii ($182.12 per resident), West Virginia ($164.28 per resident) and Maine ($142.38 per resident).  Alaska, Hawaii, and West Virginia were in the top three every year between 2008-2010.

While the inclusion of the names of members of Congress is helpful, nearly half of the cost of the earmarks was added without any attribution.  There were 163 such earmarks costing $9.2 billion, or 48.7 percent of the $18.9 billion total.  The Department of Defense (DOD) received by far the most of these earmarks, with 128 costing $8 billion.

Members of Congress will argue that their standards differ from the earmark criteria used in the Pig Book, and that these projects do not count as earmarks according to their definition.  However, the difference in the definition of earmarks between CAGW and Congress has existed since the first Pig Book in 1991.

Beyond the high percentage of anonymous earmarks, larger problems with transparency exist.  The FY 2022 earmarks were again contained in omnibus bills containing thousands of pages, which present their own challenges to determine how money is being spent.  Voting on blocks of spending bills bundled together with minimal time for review is a strong indicator of a poorly functioning legislative process.

Moreover, the earmarks were located in disparate sections of the 12 appropriations bills with varying degrees of legibility.  To undertake this analysis, CAGW staff painstakingly created a searchable database, oftentimes entering by hand information that failed to accurately scan because of blurry, barely discernable text in the legislation.  The state of the data released to the public makes a mockery of the clearly searchable database delineated by the earmark guidelines.  And the earmark requests are also not in a single database.  They can only be found on an individual members’ website.

The members of Congress who restored earmarks willfully ignored or forgot why this corrupt, inequitable, and costly practice was first subject to the moratorium.  The movement gained traction due to the tireless work of members of Congress such as then-Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.); high-profile boondoggles like the Bridge to Nowhere; and a decade of scandals that resulted in jail terms for Reps. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-Calif.) and Bob Ney (R-Ohio) and lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Legislators often cited the Article I tax and spending power given to Congress as justification for earmarking.  As Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and then-Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), co-leaders of the Article I Project, wrote in 2017 in regard to earmarks, “Congress needs to assert its power of the purse, but not in this manner.”  As practiced in the past, Lee and Hensarling continued, “earmarking was not the innocuous exercise of Congress’ constitutional spending power; it was the tool lobbyists and leadership used to compel members to vote for bills that their constituents – and sometimes their conscience – opposed.”  Bringing back earmarks, they wrote, “would make our job harder, make Congress weaker and make federal power more centralized, less accountable and more corrupt.”

Those sentiments echo President James Monroe’s May 4, 1822 Special Message to Congress regarding its authority to spend money on internal improvements across the country:  “It is, however, my opinion that the power should be confined to great national works only, since if it were unlimited it would be liable to abuse and might be productive of evil.”

As noted in a September 7, 2007, Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (DOT OIG) report, 7,724, or 99 percent of the 7,760 projects for FY 2006 reviewed by the OIG worth $8 billion at three DOT agencies either failed to be “subject to the agencies’ normal review and planning process or bypassed the states’ normal planning and programming processes.”  At the Federal Aviation Administration, nine of the 10 earmarked air traffic control tower replacement projects were low priority, and their funding caused a three-year delay in planning for higher priority projects.  There were 16 projects out of 65 at the Federal Highway Administration that failed to meet the statutory requirements of the Interstate Maintenance Discretionary Program. 

Reviewing the thousands of earmark requests for FY 2023 by appropriations committee staff will not only bypass the local

review and approval process but also usurp the authority Congress provided to federal agencies and their experienced employees, who are charged with deciding how to spend the 99 percent of discretionary spending that is not earmarked.

The 30th installment of CAGW’s exposé of pork-barrel spending includes:  $240,000,000 for the M1 Abrams upgrade program, opposed by the Pentagon; $31,500,000 for two earmarks funding presidential libraries; $10,171,000 for 24 earmarks for the Save America’s Treasures grants, including $500,000 for preservation of the Nansen Ski Jump Historic Site in Milan, New Hampshire by Senate appropriator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.); $3,000,000 for the Palo Alto Museum by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.); $1,000,000 for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra by Senate appropriator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.); $650,000 for feral swine management by Senate appropriator John Boozman (R-Ark.); and $240,000 for rodeo drive improvements in the town of Chico Valley by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

The projects in the 2022 Congressional Pig Book Summary symbolize the most blatant examples of pork.  As in previous years, 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. Agriculture

Members of Congress have long used the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act to feed at the trough, and their appetite grew in FY 2022.  The number of earmarks increased by 1,621.4 percent, from 14 in FY 2021 to 241 in FY 2022, and the cost went up by 263.2 percent, from $97 million in FY 2021 to $352.3 million in FY 2022.

$38,664,792 for 26 earmarks funding broadband expansion by 34 legislators, including:  $5,576,250 for Pine County, Minnesota by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.); $4,000,198 for Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications by Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.); and $3,877,500 for Niagara County, New York by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Chris Jacobs (R-N.Y.).

There is absolutely no reason to earmark a penny of broadband funding.  Speaking before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology on March 31, 2022, Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr stated that over the past two years, $800 billion has been appropriated by Congress or budgeted by agencies for infrastructure programs that could help bridge the digital divide.  He also estimated that one-tenth of that amount, or $80 billion, would be sufficient to connect all unserved areas of the country.

More than half of the $800 billion came from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which gave $350 billion to state and local governments for infrastructure, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which contained $65 billion solely for broadband deployment and affordability programs.  The regulations for the use of the ARPA and IIJA funds differ, and making matters worse, a May 31, 2022, Government Accountability Office (GAO) report identified at least 133 broadband programs spread across 15 federal agencies.  The report understatedly called for improved alignment “to help address fragmentation and overlap.”  The 34 congressional broadband bandits are exacerbating this disarray and wasteful spending.

$4,200,000 for infrastructure improvements at the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station by House appropriator Mike Simpson (R-Idaho).

$650,000 for feral swine management at the Arkansas Department of Agriculture by Senate Appropriations Committee member John Boozman (R-Ark.).

$500,000 for horse management at the Nevada Department of Agriculture by Sens. Catherine Cortez Maston (D-Nev.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.).

$240,000 for Rodeo Drive improvements in the town of Chico Valley (population 13,200) by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

II. Commerce, Justice, and Science

The $566.6 million in earmarks contained in the FY 2022 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Act represent a 62.2 percent decline from the $1.5 billion in FY 2021.  However, the number of earmarks increased by 5,411.1 percent, from nine in FY 2021 to 496 in FY 2022. 

$184,707,000 for 247 earmarks funding the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program, nearly equal to the $184,863,000 added in FY 2010, the last time the JAG program received earmarks.  The FY 2022 JAG earmarks represent 32.6 of the $566.6 million included in the FY 2022 CJS bill.

The JAG program has been around since 1988 in one form or another.  In 2005, Congress merged several DOJ grant programs under the JAG umbrella.  Unfortunately, the program gives away money with too much flexibility and no effective targeting strategy, along with weak oversight and few consequences for mismanagement of the funds. 

An October 15, 2010 GAO report found that JAGs “lack key attributes of successful performance assessment systems that GAO has previously identified, such as clarity, reliability, a linkage to strategic or programmatic goals, and objectivity and measurability of targets.”

The George W. Bush administration’s ExpectMore.gov described the Byrne grants as “a variety of potential local law enforcement activities rather than a clearly defined, specific or existing problem, interest, or need. … With program funds eligible to be used for multiple purposes, the Department of Justice cannot target the funds to high priority uses.  There are no meaningful goals for the program.  Performance measures are still under development.  Grantees are not required to report on performance.  As a result, it is difficult to determine what the program is accomplishing.”

Since FY 2001, members of Congress have added 2,220 earmarks for the JAG program costing $1.2 billion.

$111,744,000 for 121 earmarks for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, a 71.1 percent reduction from the $386,000,000 earmarked in FY 2021, and 19.7 percent of the total amount contained in the FY 2022 CJS bill.

The COPS program provides grants, training, and technical assistance to local law enforcement.  It was targeted for a $96 million reduction in President Trump’s FY 2019 Major Savings and Reforms, which stated that the program is “not well targeted to achieve public safety outcomes.”  The Republican Study Committee’s (RSC) budgets from FYs 2018 through 2020 called for the elimination of funding for COPS, and CAGW’s Prime Cuts has also called for terminating the program.

In FY 2008, COPS received 680 earmarks requested by hundreds of members of Congress costing $245.2 million.  In that same year, the Office of Management and Budget’s Program Assessment Rating Tool awarded the COPS program with a “results not demonstrated” rating, which “indicates that a program has not been able to develop acceptable performance goals or collect data to determine whether it is performing,” noting that the COPS program’s “long-term goals have no timelines or specific targets.”

This subpar characterization of the program corresponded with a significant decline in earmarks with legislators abstaining from adding projects between FYs 2010 and 2017.  However, earmarks for COPS have returned without any evidence that the problems identified in 2008 have been addressed.  Since FY 1998, legislators have added 2,999 earmarks for COPS, costing taxpayers $3.1 billion.

$84,354,000 for 80 earmarks funding operations, research, and facilities at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an 87.5 percent decrease from the $675,176,000 earmarked in FY 2021. 

Funded projects include:  $6,589,000 for six earmarks in Oregon by Senate CJS Appropriations Subcommittee member Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.); $5,000,000 for a project at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta by Sens. Jon Ossof (D-Ga.) and Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.); and $4,631,000 for five earmarks in Hawaii by Senate CJS Appropriations Subcommittee member Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).

Since FY 2001, members of Congress have added 213 earmarks for NOAA, costing $1.9 billion.

$17,836,000 for 19 earmarks supporting fishing industries, including:  $987,000 for a seafood processors refrigeration certificate training program at the Alaska Research Consortium in Kodiak, Alaska by Senate appropriator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska); $765,000 for planning for the future of Maine’s lobster industry at the state’s Department of Marine Resources by Senate appropriator Susan Collins (R-Maine), Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), and House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee member Chellie Pingree (D-Maine); and $150,000 for an oyster aquaculture and restoration initiative at the Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit group that had total support and revenue of $1.8 billion in 2021 and whose net assets total $7.9 billion, by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.).

According to NOAA, the U.S. fishing industry produced $255 billion in commercial and recreational sales in 2019.  It can get by without the support of earmarks.

$1,901,000 for three earmarks funding aquariums:  $1,000,000 for research programs at the New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusetts by Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); $569,000 for the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Connecticut to remove derelict lobster pots by Senate appropriator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.); and $332,000 for an education initiative at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland by Senate appropriator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). 

Instead of forcing taxpayers to finance these projects, the aquariums could increase admission fees by less than $1.00, raise more money from their many individual and corporate donors, or fund the projects from their substantial assets.  The New England Aquarium has net assets of $44.7 million, the Maritime Aquarium has net assets of $21 million, and the National Aquarium has net assets of $79 million.   

III. Defense

The DOD again received the most funding via earmarks, which has occurred each year since FY 1994.  Earmarks declined by 2.7 percent from 147 in FY 2021 to 143 in FY 2022, and their cost dropped by 3.6 percent from $8.3 billion in FY 2021 to $8 billion in FY 2022.  The cost constitutes 42.3 percent of the $18.9 billion in earmarks in all 12 appropriations bills for FY 2022.

The FY 2022 DOD bill contains the most anonymous earmarks.  Legislators added only a handful of such projects in the other appropriations bills, but the 128 anonymous earmarks equal 89.5 percent of the 143 earmarks and 99.7 percent of the cost.

$2,002,808,000 for 44 anonymous earmarks for health and disease research under the Defense Health Program (DHP), which is a 9.3 percent increase in cost from the 40 earmarks worth $1,833,160,000 in FY 2021, and the most ever earmarked for the program.  The amount earmarked in FY 2022 for the DHP represents 25 percent of the $8 billion contained in the DOD appropriations bill.<

A March 14, 2012 Washington Post article stated that then-DOD Comptroller Robert Hale proposed decreasing the Pentagon health budget in part by eliminating “one-time congressional adds,” which he said totaled $603.6 million in FY 2012 for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program.

The late Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-Okla.) November 2012 “The Department of Everything” report pointed out that the DOD disease earmarks mean that “fewer resources are available for DOD to address those specific health challenges facing members of the armed forces for which no other agencies are focused.”  According to the report, in 2010 the Pentagon withheld more than $45 million for overhead related to earmarks, which means those funds were unavailable for national security needs or medical research specifically affecting those serving in the military.

On June 17, 2015, then-Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) suggested that funding for medical research should only be included in the DOD bill if the secretary of defense determined it was directly related to the military.  He said that “over the past two decades, lawmakers have appropriated nearly $7.3 billion for medical research that was ‘totally unrelated’ to the military.”  In a response that explains why legislators continue to believe that they have the knowledge, privilege, and right to earmark billions of dollars for the DHP, Senate appropriator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) claimed that none of the secretaries of defense that he had known, despite being “talented individuals,” were qualified to decide whether any of this research is related to the military.

Since FY 1996, members of Congress have added 856 earmarks for the DHP, costing taxpayers $18.8 billion.

$240,000,000 for two earmarks funding modernization of the M1 Abrams, including $175,000,000 to upgrade 20 tanks.

Over the objections of senior DOD officials, members of Congress have for many years provided funding for the M1 upgrade program.  Although the tank plant is in Lima, Ohio, its suppliers are spread across the country, which helps to explain the widespread support.  Past versions of the DOD bills, including in FYs 2016 and 2017, hinted at a parochial incentive for the program’s continuance:  industrial base support.  There’s nothing like a jobs program disguised as a national security priority. 

The continued funding for the program makes it worth revisiting why the Pentagon has long objected to finite resources being wasted on an unwanted project.  In testimony before the HASC on February 17, 2012, then-Army Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno told Congress that the U.S. possesses more than enough tanks to meet the country’s needs, stating “our tank fleet is in good

shape.”  In fact, the Army has so many M1 tanks that 2,000 of them are parked in a California desert. 

The DOD had intended to focus on designing the next generation of tanks, which would be better equipped for the changing nature of warfare.  Designed to take on other tanks, the M1 Abrams has proven susceptible to asymmetric tactics such as improvised explosive devices employed by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Given these vulnerabilities, the tank’s usefulness in future counterinsurgency warfare has been openly questioned.  In his testimony, General Odierno stated that, “we don’t believe we will ever see a straight conventional conflict again in the future.”  Instead, the U.S. will likely face adversaries implementing a mix of conventional and unconventional tactics. 

Unfortunately, by continuing to commit vast resources toward an unnecessary upgrade program, legislators have made moving away from the Abrams much more difficult.  As elected officials in Washington continue to ignore the DOD, taxpayers will carry on footing the bill for upgrades to what General Odierno described as “tanks that we simply do not need.” 

Since FY 1994, there have been 43 earmarks for the M1 Abrams, requested by at least 13 members of Congress, costing taxpayers $1.7 billion. 

$120,000,000 for three anonymous earmarks funding a variety of industrial base analysis and sustainment support measures: $80,000,000 for a heavy rare earth elements program, $20,000,000 for machine tooling and advanced manufacturing, and $20,000,000 for submarine workforce development.

While members of Congress will typically create dubious justifications for earmarking funding for programs in their districts, perhaps claiming DOD officials mistakenly failed to request funding, this effort is more transparent.  Several anonymous members of Congress deemed it necessary to supply funding for unneeded work simply to support local industries.

Finite national security spending should never be utilized for a jobs program.

$117,241,000 for two earmarks for the National Guard Counter-Drug Program, a 2.3 percent decrease from the $120,000,000 provided in FY 2021.

Between FYs 2008-2010, the earmarks went to individual states and congressional districts, but since then the program, which allows for the use of military personnel in domestic drug enforcement operations, has been funded in one bundle as a workaround to the earmark moratorium.  Despite the transparency requirements for earmarks, there is still no information about where these funds are going.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, with a budget of $2.4 billion, is already responsible for these activities.  Since FY 2001, there have been 78 earmarks costing taxpayers $1.2 billion for the National Guard Counter-Drug Program.  Members of Congress who have inserted earmarks for this program in the past include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House appropriator Harold Rogers (R-Ky.), the late former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and the late Sens. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). 

$42,000,000 for the Starbase Youth Program, which teaches science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to at-risk youth in multiple locations at or near military bases around the country.  The amount supplied in FY 2021 is a 2 percent increase from the $41,167,000 earmarked in FY 2021, and the largest ever earmark for Starbase.

Since FY 2001, members of Congress have added 14 earmarks costing taxpayers $272.1 million for Starbase, including an earmark worth $1.9 million in FY 2010 by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and then-Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.).  But, like the National Guard Counter-Drug Program, there is no information about which members of Congress will be receiving the money for the Starbase earmarks.

An April 2018 GAO annual report on program duplication, overlap, and fragmentation found that $2.9 billion was spent in FY 2016 across 13 agencies for 163 STEM programs.  Former President Obama proposed the consolidation or elimination of 31 STEM programs in FY 2015, and a further 20 STEM programs in FY 2016.  Former President Trump’s FY 2021 Major Savings and Reforms recommended eliminating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Office of STEM Engagement, saving $120 million.

$25,400,000 for modernization of three Littoral Combat Ships (LCS).  Dubbed by some inside the Navy as the Little Crappy Ship, the LCS has been a disaster since its inception, with problems that include a vaguely defined mission, a lack of firepower and survivability, and design flaws causing corrosion.

The latest setback surfaced in May 2022, when an internal Navy report revealed that half of the ships have been impacted by structural defects leading to hull cracks.  To mitigate the damage, the LCS, whose purpose is to perform high-speed patrols, will be limited to lower speeds, especially in rough waters.

Problems with the LCS crop up annually.  On January 19, 2021, when the DOD announced that it had halted deliveries of the Freedom-class LCS because of a transmission design flaw, a Defense News article cited a defect in the ship’s combining gear, “a complex transmission that transmits power generated by the ship’s engines to its waterjet propulsion system.”  The Navy believes that the contractor, Lockheed Martin, is responsible for paying for repairs, which will likely take months for each ship.

Freedom-class LCS transmission issues are nothing new.  In 2015, the maiden voyage of the LCS Milwaukee was cut short when the transmission broke down and the vessel required a tow to reach port.

The many and varied problems in the LCS program strongly indicate that it may be time to pull the plug.  Such issues have caused lengthy delays.  A June 2018 GAO report noted that “deliveries of almost all LCS under contract have been delayed by several months, and, in some cases, a year or longer.” 

The program has become so troubled that the Pentagon took active measures to undermine the bad press.  According to a March 2017 GAO report, the DOD Office of Prepublication and Security Review, which is charged with reviewing information to be released to the public, blocked critical information regarding cost growth in the LCS program.

As is so often the case with deeply flawed DOD programs, the justification for additional LCS funding can be boiled down to a desire to protect jobs.  In a March 20, 2018 HASC hearing, then-HASC member Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), whose former district hosts the Austal USA shipyard that builds one of the two versions of the LCS, reproached then-Navy Secretary Richard Spencer for requesting only one LCS in fiscal year 2019.  Rep. Byrne stated in the hearing, “Unfortunately, your acquisition plan for small surface combatants fails to provide for an enduring industrial base.  In fact, it will erode the industrial base for those ships,” and reducing the program to one annual ship will result in “thousands of shipyard workers” being laid off. 

The LCS functioning as a jobs program remains the sole possible argument for its continued existence.

IV. Energy and Water

Legislators once again flooded the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act with pork.  While the number of earmarks increased by 478.7 percent, from 47 in FY 2021 to 272 in FY 2022, the cost declined by 43.2 percent, from $3.7 billion in FY 2021 to $2.1 billion in FY 2022.  Despite the reduction in cost from FY 2021, the dollar total earmarked in FY 2022 was the third highest of any bill.

$1,448,665,000 for 182 earmarks for the Army Corps of Engineers, a 30.8 percent increase in cost from the $1,107,177,000 in FY 2021.  Former President Trump’s FY 2018 Major Savings and Reforms recommended reducing the Corps of Engineers’ budget by $976 million.  The FY 2021 version of his Major Savings and Reforms proposed reforming Army Corps of Engineers Inland Waterways Trust Fund financing by establishing an annual fee paid by commercial navigation users, saving $180 million annually.  The report also recommended divesting the federal government of the Washington Aqueduct, which services Washington, D.C., and several Virginia suburbs, saving $118 million over five years.

The Army Corps of Engineers earmarks in FY 2022 contained several big-ticket items, including:  $350,000,000, or 24.2 percent of the total cost, for a project to restore South Florida’s ecosystem by Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.); $161,936,000 for 10 earmarks, including $62,212,000 for a project focused on Mobile Harbor in Alabama, by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.); $38,375,000 for fish mitigation projects along the Columbia River in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington by Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee member Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.); and $19,785,000 for projects on Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie in South Carolina by Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee member Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.).

Legislators have long treated the Army Corps of Engineers as a prime repository of pork, and it is among the most heavily earmarked areas of the federal budget.  Since FY 1996, members of Congress have added 7,174 earmarks for the Corps, costing taxpayers $18.4 billion.  The earmarks in the FY 2022 bill and all other Energy and Water appropriations bills with earmarks since 2014 contravene the provisions of the Water Resources Development Act of 2014, which specifically excluded earmarks for any water projects, including the Army Corps of Engineers.

$50,600,000 for two earmarks to combat underwater pests, including $30 million for the aquatic plant control program, the largest amount ever earmarked for this program, and 20 percent more than the $25 million earmarked in FY 2021, the second largest ever earmark.

Since FY 1994, there have been 28 earmarks worth a total of $149.1 million for aquatic plant control projects, meaning the amount provided in FY 2022 represents 20.1 percent of the total over the past 28 years.  Legislators who have requested earmarks in the past for the aquatic plant control program include Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who requested three, and one each by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).

Legislators also included $20,600,000 for aquatic nuisance control research, 26.2 percent more than the $16,325,000 earmarked in FY 2021, and the largest ever earmark for this purpose.  Since FY 1992, members of Congress have added 11 earmarks for aquatic nuisance research, costing $61 million.

$7,000,000 for fish passage and fish screens, a 38.6 percent decrease from the $11.4 million added in FY 2021.

Since FY 2000, members of Congress have added 22 earmarks costing $81.3 million for fish passage and fish screens.  Legislators responsible for adding earmarks in the past for this purpose include Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), former Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and former Reps. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) and Wally Herger (R-Calif.).

$1,150,000 for an oyster resiliency project at the University of New Hampshire by Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee member Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H).  Since FY 1991, members of Congress have added 64 oyster resiliency projects costing $78.5 million.

V. Financial Services

The number of earmarks in the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act increased by 1,971.4 percent, from seven in FY 2021 to 145 in FY 2022.  The cost of the projects went in the opposite direction, declining by 69.5 percent, from $586.6 million in FY 2021 to $173.3 million in FY 2022.

$83,021,000 for 128 earmarks paying for salaries and expenses through the Small Business Administration (SBA), a 20.5 percent reduction from the $104.4 million earmarked in FY 2021, and the third largest ever earmark for the program.   

Once heavily earmarked by members of Congress, the SBA received its first earmark in seven years in FY 2018, when legislators supplied $54,650,000, a 51.9 percent increase over four years.  Since FY 1995, members of Congress have added 807 earmarks for the SBA, costing $665.1 million.

$31,500,000 for two earmarks funding presidential libraries:  $20,000,000 for the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library at Mississippi State University in Starkville by Senate Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), the second largest earmark ever for such a library; and $11,500,000 for the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Kansas City, Missouri by Senate appropriator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).

The Grant library opened in November 2017 at a cost of $10 million, and was paid for by Mississippi taxpayers.  The FY 2022 earmark, costing double the original amount and paid for by federal taxpayers, will support the relocation and construction of a new library.  This makes about as much sense as hosting the victorious Union general’s library in the deep South. 

Since FY 2003, legislators have added 16 earmarks costing $97.6 million for 10 presidential libraries. 

VI. Homeland Security

The number of earmarks in the FY 2022 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act increased by 1,150 percent, from 10 in FY 2021 to 125 in FY 2022.  The cost of the projects dropped by 26.3 percent, from $479.6 million in FY 2021 to $353.6 million in FY 2022.

$153,922,408 for 68 earmarks funding the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Pre-Disaster Mitigation Fund (NPMF), the third largest ever earmarked for this purpose. 

The earmarks include $1,000,000 for the town of Pulaski, New York (population 2,189) by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.);  $525,000 for the town of Nederland, Colorado (population 1,497) by Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Col.); and $184,000 for Upper Burrell Township, Pennsylvania (population 2,243) by Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.).

President Trump’s FY 2020 Major Savings and Reforms recommended eliminating funding for the NPMF, stating that it is duplicative of other federal programs, and should be the responsibility of state and local governments.  Former President Obama’s FY 2017 Cuts, Consolidations, and Savings recommended reducing the NPMF by $46 million.

Since FY 2008, there have been 277 NPMF earmarks requested by more than 100 members of Congress, costing taxpayers $771.2 million.

$49,026,403 for 53 earmarks funding emergency operation centers through FEMA, the most ever earmarked for this purpose.  The amount funded in FY 2022 represents a 4.4 percent increase over the $46,942,500 earmarked in FY 2010, the last time members of Congress added earmarked funding for these operation centers.

The FY 2022 earmarks include $200,000 for renovations of the Hampstead Fire Department in New Hampshire (population 9,045) by Senate Homeland Security Appropriation Subcommittee member Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and $900,000 for remodeling and renovations to a center in Sedona, Arizona (population 9,763) by Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

Each of former President Obama’s budgets from FYs 2010 through 2013 slashed funding for FEMA’s emergency operation centers grant program.  The FY 2012 budget stated that the program, “is largely comprised of congressionally-directed earmarks and award allocations that are not based on risk assessments.”

Since FY 2009, members of Congress have added 167 earmarks costing $116.6 million for this purpose.

VII. Interior

The number of earmarks in the FY 2022 Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act exploded by 3,718.8 percent, from 16 in FY 2021 to 611 in FY 2022, the third most of any bill.  Earmarks in FY 2022 cost $1 billion, a 239.6 percent increase from the $294.5 million FY 2021.

$10,171,000 for 24 earmarks for the Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grants program, a 59.3 percent decrease from the $25,000,000 earmarked in FY 2021.  Intended to help preserve historic locations across the country, members of Congress have added 293 SAT earmarks costing taxpayers $132.7 million since FY 2006.

The FY 2022 earmarks include $500,000 for the Nansen Ski Club for preservation of the Nansen Ski Jump Historic Site in Milan, New Hampshire by Senate appropriator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).  Once the largest ski jump in the eastern U.S., it was closed in 1988.  In 2019, the Northern Border Regional Commission awarded a $250,000 grant to revitalize the site.  The earmark added by Sen. Shaheen doubles this funding level and should be paid for by local taxpayers.

The earmarks also include $500,000 for the Fort Ticonderoga Association in New York by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).  The 18th century fort received on average 75,000 visitors annually prior to the pandemic, with entrance fees costing $25 for adults.  Charging an additional $6.67 per visitor would have covered the cost of this earmark.

SAT earmarks contributed to the downfall of former House Appropriations Committee member Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.).  In FY 2010, he added $150,000 for restoration of the Cottrill Opera House through the Vandalia Heritage Foundation, which was operated by a former aide, Laura Kurtz Kuhn.  This was one of several earmarks that led to Rep. Mollohan being accused of potential ethics violations, a key issue in his primary election loss in May 2010.

Former President Obama called for the elimination of the SAT program in the FY 2011 version of Cuts, Consolidations, and Savings, to allow the National Park Service (NPS) to “focus resources on managing national parks and other activities that most closely align with its core mission,” since the grants have “not demonstrated how they contribute to nationwide historic preservation goals.”

$4,896,000 for the Heritage Partnership Program (HPP), which supports the 49 National Heritage Areas (NHAs) created by Congress.  The FY 2022 earmark is a 79.2 percent reduction from the $23.5 million provided in FY 2021.  Operated through the NPS, the HPP has received 55 earmarks costing $146.4 million since FY 2001, including funding for projects like park improvements, sports complexes, health centers, water quality monitoring, bike paths, sustainable agriculture, and agricultural tourism, but there is no transparency regarding which members of Congress will be receiving the FY 2022 funds.

Each of former President Obama’s budgets from FYs 2011 through 2017 slashed funding for NHAs.  The FY 2017 version of Cuts, Consolidations, and Savings recommended trimming the budget by 55 percent, from $20 million to $9 million.  The last three of former President Trump’s Major Savings and Reforms proposed eliminating the HPP entirely, saving $22 million.  The 2021 report noted there is no “systematic process for designating Heritage Partnership Areas or determining their effectiveness,” and made the same argument that former President Obama made in his FY 2011 budget that funding for the HPP diverted resources from core NPS responsibilities. 

Unfortunately, members of Congress have continuously ignored these proposed budget reductions, earmarking funding for the HPP in nine of the last 11 years.

$1,886,000 for five earmarks funding museums, including $500,000 for the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.).  Sen. Casey added a second earmark for the museum costing $1 million in the FY 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act (Labor/HHS).

Designed to teach children “the power of learning through play,” the Please Touch Museum, which had total revenue of $8.3 million in 2020 with net assets of $33.7 million, has received 11 earmarks costing $6.8 million since FY 2001.

Since FY 1991, members of Congress have added 1,411 earmarks for museums costing $1.6 billion.

$1,500,000 for three earmarks funding theaters:  $500,000 for the Paramount Theatre in Rutland, Vermont by Senate Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.); $500,000 for Lederer Theater Center in Providence, Rhode Island by Senate Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee member Jack Reed (D-R.I.); and $500,000 for the Lyceum Theater in Clovis, New Mexico by Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.).

Since FY 1991, legislators have added 352 earmarks for theaters costing $98.8 million.

VII. Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education

The number of earmarks in the FY 2022 Labor/HHS bill increased by 6,595.7 percent, from 23 in FY 2021 to 1,540 in FY 2022, the most of any FY 2022 appropriations bill.  The cost of the projects increased by 66.7 percent, from $1.2 billion in FY 2021 to $2 billion in FY 2022.

$183,915,000 for 32 projects by Senate Labor/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), which is 9.2 percent of the total cost of the FY 2022 Labor/HHS earmarks. 

His earmarks include $1,000,000 for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for music education.  The orchestra’s 2020/2021 annual report shows unrestricted net assets of $131,076,000, which means that the organization could have used .076 percent of that amount in lieu of the earmark.

$6,891,000 for nine projects funding museums, including $2,000,000, or 29 percent of the cost of the museum earmarks, for STEM programs at the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada by Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) and $615,000 for the Lone Star Flight Museum in Houston, Texas by Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas).  Federal taxpayers could have avoided picking up the tab for the testing museum earmark if each of the Las Vegas metro’s 2,227,000 residents had contributed 90 cents, and for the flight museum if each of the Houston Metro area’s 7,122,240 residents had contributed a dime.

IX. Military Construction

Earmarks last appeared in the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act in FY 2016 when legislators added one earmark costing $15 million.  The projects added by members of Congress in FY 2022 are more analogous to FY 2010, when legislators added 182 earmarks costing $1.1 billion.  The FY 2022 version of the bill contains 72 earmarks costing $1.3 billion, a 60.4 percent decline in projects from FY 2010 and an 18.2 percent increase in cost.

$229,525,000 for nine earmarks, or 17.7 percent of the cost of the earmarks in the bill, by Senate appropriator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), including $121,825,000 for an aircraft maintenance hangar and $4,700,000 for “unspecified minor construction” of an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter operational support facility, both at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina.

$30,000,000 for the construction of a fitness center at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs by Sen. Michael Bennett (D-Col.).  Colorado Springs has more than 30 gyms and fitness centers, as well as a fitness and sports center at nearby Peterson Air Force Base that could be used instead of forcing taxpayers across the country to pay for this earmark.

X. Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development

The official return of earmarking had the biggest impact on the FY 2022 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD)Appropriations Act.  The number of earmarks in the bill increased by 29,760 percent, from five in FY 2021 to 1,493 in FY 2022.  The cost of earmarks increased by 5,526.1 percent, from $55.1 million in FY 2021 to $3.1 billion in FY 2022.

The cost and number of earmarks contained in the FY 2022 THUD bill are the second most of any of the 12 appropriations bills.

$300,000,000 for three earmarks by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.):  $200,000,000 for two projects supporting improvement and modernization work at the Alabama Port Authority and $100,000,000 for airfield and terminal improvements at the Mobile Downtown Airport.

With these three projects, Sen. Shelby claimed 9.7 percent of the $3.1 billion in earmarks in the FY 2022 THUD bill.

$102,300,000 for the Airport and Airways Trust Fund (AATF), through which the Federal Aviation Administration finances airport infrastructure improvements.  The FY 2022 earmarks represent a 96.4 percent increase from the $52.1 million in FY 2021.  Since FY 2005, members of Congress have added 20 earmarks for the AATF costing $438.2 million, which means the FY 2022 funding level represents 23.3 percent of this total, but like all prior years, there are no names of members of Congress or airports identified for the projects. 

According to a November 21, 2016 Cato Institute report, the AATF has the indirect effect of preventing competition among airlines.  Because the AATF allows funding only for maintenance and improvements, airports are limited in the number of gates they can build.  As a result, airport managers ration gate access through long-term contracts with established companies, creating a barrier to entry for potential competitors.

A 2016 Airport Council International report found that market-based reforms in European airports have led to “significant volumes of investment in necessary infrastructure, higher service quality levels, and a commercial acumen which allows airport operators to diversify revenue streams and minimize the costs that users have to pay.”  Because privatized European airports are not forced to compete with inefficient government-subsidized airport ownership, healthy competition thrives, and consumers pay lower prices.  The U.S. should adopt this model.

$99,307,719 for 37 earmarks by Senate THUD Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-Maine), including:  $4,800,000 for street improvements in Bangor; $1,500,000 for improvements to a fish pier in Rockland; $700,000 for engineering designs for the Eastern Trail in Scarborough; $411,710 for renovation of Johnson Hall in Gardiner; and $120,000 for revitalization of the town of Danforth.

$86,871,250 for 46 earmarks by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), including:  $431,250 for the Rockville Trails Preserve; $400,000 for Main Street safety and pedestrian improvements in Lake Elsinore; and $350,000 for a pedestrian safety project on the Iron Horse Trail bridge.

$79,037,000 for 59 earmarks by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), including:  $1,100,000 for the Sullivan County O&W Rail Trail; $1,000,000 to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority for riverwalk improvements at the NFTA-Metro Rail DL&W Station; and $700,000 for the Dryden Trail bridge.

$26,575,718 for 14 earmarks funding bike paths, including:  $8,200,000 for two projects in Rhode Island by Senate THUD Appropriations Subcommittee member Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), $5,000,000 for improvements to the 84th Street pedestrian and bicycle path in Omaha by Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.); $2,725,000 for bicycle projects along De La Cruz, Lick Mill, and Scott boulevards by Sen. Padilla and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.); $2,150,000 for the Barrio Logan segment of the Bayshore Bikeway by Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.); $2,000,000 for the Crow Canyon Iron Horse Trail bicycle and pedestrian overcrossing by Sen. Padilla and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.); $800,000 for a bicycle and pedestrian safety project near Woodside High School by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.); and $300,000 for segment 5 of the Bayshore Bikeway by Senate THUD Appropriations Subcommittee member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Sen. Padilla, and Rep. Vargas.

Since FY 1991, members of Congress have added 133 earmarks costing $103.8 million for bike paths, meaning 25.6 percent of the total cost was earmarked in FY 2022.

$20,735,000 for 10 projects funding museums, including:  $3,000,000 for permanent galleries at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.); $3,000,000 for the Joliet Area Historical Museum to rehabilitate the Old Joliet Prison Historical Site by Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.); and $3,000,000 for the Palo Alto Museum for renovation of the Roth Building by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.).

While all federal funding directed to local projects can be criticized, providing funding for a museum in Palo Alto, which has a median household income of $174,003 and is home to nine of the Forbes 400’s richest people, is particularly egregious.  With access to so much private wealth, the city of Palo Alto should turn to philanthropy, not taxpayers around the country, to fund this project.

$16,960,120 for 11 earmarks funding theaters, including:  $5,000,000 for two earmarks for the renovation of the Children’s Theatre Workshop of Toledo by House appropriator Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio); $2,200,000 for the Ritz Theater and Cultural Center in Albany by House appropriator Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.); and $1,492,560 for improvements to the St. George Theater in New York City by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.).

$14,882,000 for 11 earmarks funding arts programming, including:  $3,000,000 for the Edison Arts Foundation in Missouri City, Texas by Rep. Al Green (D-Texas); $3,000,000 for redevelopment of the Ambassador Theater in Baltimore, Maryland by Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.); and $2,500,000 for the 33 Hawley Street Project at the Northampton Community Arts Trust by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.).

This booklet was written by Sean Kennedy, director of research and policy. It was edited by Thomas A. Schatz, president.

Oinker Awards

The Prince of Pork Award to Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) for 16 earmarks costing $647,936,000, the highest amount received, and 71.6 percent more than the legislator in second place.

The Don’t Step in it Award to Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) for $650,000 for feral swine management.

The Closing the Curtain on Taxpayers Award to Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), who each got a $500,000 earmark for local theaters.

The Snow Job Award to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) for $500,000 for preservation of the Nansen Ski Jump Historic Site in Milan, New Hampshire.

The Singing a Sour Note for Taxpayers Award to Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) for $1,000,000 for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

The Atomic Wedgie Award to Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) for $2,000,000 for the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas.

The Whopper Award to Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) for $350,000,000 for a project to restore South Florida’s ecosystem, the largest earmark by a member of Congress.

The Let Them Eat Cake Award to Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) for $3,000,000 for the Palo Alto Museum for renovation of the Roth Building in a city with median household income of $174,003.

The Taking Taxpayers for a Ride Award for $26,575,718 for 14 earmarks funding bike paths.

The Pig in Sheep’s Clothing Award to Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) for $4,200,000 for the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station.

The Tanking the Taxpayers Award for $240,000,000 for modernization of the M1 Abrams, including $175,000,000 to upgrade 20 tanks, which the Pentagon opposes.

The Double Steaming the Taxpayers Award To Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine) and Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) for $765,000 for planning for the future of Maine’s lobster industry, and Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) for $569,000 to remove derelict lobster pots from the Maritime Aquarium.

The Keep Your Hands Off Our Money Award to Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) for $1,500,000 for the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia.The You Cannot Be Serious! Award to Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) for $150,000 for an oyster aquaculture and restoration initiative at the Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit group with net assets of $7.9 billion.

The Broadband Bandits Award to the 34 members of Congress who got 26 earmarks costing $38,664,792 to fund broadband projects despite the availability of enough money to connect every unserved area of the country.

The Deep Sixing the Taxpayers’ Money Award for $1.9 million for three earmarks funding aquariums that have combined net assets of $144.7 million.

The This Pork Was Made for Walking Award to Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) for $350,000 for pedestrian safety on the Iron Horse Trail bridge.

The Strange Bedfellows Award to Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) for $20,000,000 for the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library at Mississippi State University in Starkville.

The Revolutionary Pork Award to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for $500,000 for the Fort Ticonderoga Association.