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Pig Book Blasts Congress over More Pet Projects

09-08-2014
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WASHINGTON -- One year after Congress banned earmarks, those special projects that lawmakers load into the federal budget, legislators passed more than 100 earmarks for 2014.

Every year, the Pig Book Summary blasts Congress for its wasteful pork barrel projects.

"There are 109 earmarks, costing taxpayers $2.7 billion in fiscal year 2014," Thomas Schatz, with Citizens against Government Waste, told CBN News.

Congress has even passed millions in spending for agencies who didn't want the money.

What can be done to force Congress to spend less? MacMillin Slobodien, executive director of Our Generation explains on CBN Newswatch, May 15.

For instance, one special target in this year's Pig Book is the $2.6 million for an economic development agency in Alaska.

"The inspector general of the Denali Commission said the organization shouldn't even exist. President Obama has pointed out that there are 29 other federal programs that do exactly the same thing," Schatz said.

There's also the $90 million for M1 tanks the Pentagon insists it really doesn't want.

"The secretary of the Army said they don't need to build more M1s. They want to delay this for four years and save $3 billion," Schatz said. "There are 2,000 M1s sitting idle in the desert of California."

Meanwhile, the Defense Department is getting $866 million to mostly duplicate research on the very same illnesses and diseases as the civilian sector.

"Breast cancer research can be done at the National Institutes of Health and it's done --billions of dollars [for] other research done at other agencies," Schatz charged.

Schatz said some in the military, along with their congressional benefactors, seem more concerned about their pet environmental projects than defense, no matter what it costs.

"Hundreds of dollars per gallon for algae-based fuel is being spent at the Department of Defense," he explained. "Other members have said the Secretary of the Navy is not the Secretary of Energy…This money belongs at the Energy Department if it belongs anywhere."

Schatz is particularly peeved by an extra $15 million that went to improve habitat for salmon in the Northwest.

"What about the halibut? What about the grouper in Florida? What about the lobsters in Maine? We don't want to give the other species any ideas to come to Washington and get some money," he quipped.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are still managing to pass spending for the same very same projects that were called earmarks in the past. They're just not calling them that right now.

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