The House is preparing to vote on a masssive spending bill for the Departments of Labor, HHS, and other agencies. According to CQ, Congressional Democrats assert that they've reduced pork-barrel earmark spending by 40%-50%, but have not provided a tally that supports the claim. CQ meanwhile, finds more than 2,200 earmarks in the legislation:
A Congressional Quarterly analysis of the conference report on the measure, released Monday night, counts more than 2,200 earmarks and special projects totaling more than $1 billion. That is about seven-tenths of one percent of the bill’s total discretionary spending of $150.7 billion. The bill would fund the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education in fiscal 2008, plus several independent agencies, including the Social Security Administration.
The legislation was cleared for public review last night. Republican leader Boehner lists some of the projects funded in the bill:
- Hybrid loaner cars for staffers wishing to run errands or catch a movie during work hours.
- $520,000 (or $10,000 per week) in extra electricity funds to “absolve sins” by purchasing renewable, not traditional, electricity.
- The installation of a private E-85 gas station for Members on the Capitol grounds, lest Members have to drive elsewhere to full up.
- Segway personal transporters.
- $2.7 million to switch fuels for the Capitol power plant from coal to natural gas (even while 63 million American households use natural gas to heat their homes, but get nothing in the Democrats’ “energy” bill to increase supplies and lower prices).
- “Climate neutral” adhesive, sealants, paints, coating, and carpets.
Read also the Club for Growth, which points out that the Democratic leadership won't promise that there have been no new earmarks added into this bill after it passed both the House and Senate.
If this is such a good bill, why can't the American people have more than 24 hours to review it?
As long as we're on the topic of pork, check out the latest Google maps app -- on where pork goes.
Update: Check out Ed Morrissey, who has more of the wonderful ways that Democrats have come up with to spend your money.