McCain Blames Earmarks for Bridge Disaster

Pet projects diverted funds from transportation safety, says candidate
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2007 1:35 PM CDT
Presidential hopeful John McCain puts on his jacket after arriving at the Greater Cincinnati International Airport, Tuesday, July 31, 2007, in Hebron, Ky. McCain was in Cincinnati for a private fund raiser....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – John McCain blasted fellow legislators yesterday for contributing to the Minnesota bridge collapse by spending billions of taxpayer dollars on pet projects rather than transportation safety. "Maybe if we had done it right, maybe some of that money would have gone to inspect those bridges and other bridges around the country," he said during a town hall meeting in Iowa.

Still smarting from last week's passage of what he considered an inadequate ethics-reform bill, McCain railed against lawmakers' habit of earmarking funds for personal political gain, including Charles Grassley's $50 million pledge for an indoor rain forest in Iowa. "I'm angry today because we just had a chance to reform this process in Washington and we punted," said McCain.