pork barrel spending

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Senators' Personal Wants Buried in Immigration Bill

Graham adds meat industry visas; Colo. senator helps ski resorts

(Newser) - The Senate's immigration reform bill could make sweeping changes for some 11 million undocumented workers, but not all its measures are so expansive. In fact, a number of senators have inserted legislation that offers a special boost to their home states, the Wall Street Journal reports. Lindsey Graham of... More »

Mark Sanford Ate Piglets From His Pork Protest

'Pork' and 'Barrel' used to fatten politician after all

(Newser) - Remember Pork and Barrel, the two piglets Mark Sanford brought to the South Carolina statehouse to protest pork barrel spending in 2004? Well, "unfortunately, they were barbecued," he told the groaning hosts at MSNBC's Morning Joe today when asked about the pigs' whereabouts, as picked up by... More »

Lawmakers Use Earmarks to Aid Own Properties

Just a coincidence that pork benefits own real estate, they say

(Newser) - Members of Congress are not only steering earmarks to their own districts, but also their own backyards, funding projects that boost the value of properties they own, a Washington Post investigation finds. Comparing disclosure forms against public records revealed that over the last few years, some 33 members of Congress... More »

Rick Brought Home $1B in Pork—and Big Donations

Former senator was a 'vigorous practitioner' of securing earmarks

(Newser) - In Rick Santorum's days in the Senate, lawmakers didn't have to disclose their earmarks—but a New York Times analysis shows that Santorum had a lot of them, and that they were often followed by large campaign contributions from the companies they benefited. In one defense bill, for... More »

Syrup Research No Joke: Industry to McCain

Sen. targets maple topping in anti-pork campaign

(Newser) - The omnibus spending bill may have failed , but one sticky situation persists: In compiling his list of the bill's 10 most egregious wastes of money, John McCain ridiculed a $165,000 earmark for maple syrup research as an example of absurd pork—but the maple industry says it’s anything... More »

Uh, Oh: GOP Wakes to World Without Earmarks

Conservatives scramble to get cash for legit transportation projects

(Newser) - Killing earmarks in an era of big government and bigger deficits sure sounded like great conservative politics at the party last night, but none other than the House GOP is waking up with a hangover, wondering "What were we thinking?" As Politico reports, it turns out that ix-naying porky... More »

Leave Earmarks Alone

They aren't hurting anything

(Newser) - Mitch McConnell has passed out lots of earmarks in his time, but yesterday he supported a ban on the practice, because Americans "view it as a symbol of the waste.” Translation? “Earmarks are a good idea, but most people don’t get it, so I’ll oppose... More »

Alaska: Ready to Stop Biting the Hand That Feeds It?

Senate race shows clear split on DC-dependence

(Newser) - It must be the air up there, but Alaska has a seeming case of schizophrenia, writes Gail Collins in the New York Times. The state, and especially its politicians, champion its independent, frontier spirit even as it simultaneously and relentlessly shakes Washington down for cash—to the tune of the... More »

Good Riddance to Rep. Murtha

Late Democrat slammed for corruption, stance on Iraq

(Newser) - Right-leaning blog Uncoverage isn't shy about speaking ill of the dead when the deceased in question is Rep. John Murtha. The Pennsylvania Democrat was regularly ranked as one of Congress' most corrupt politicians and stuffed millions of dollars into pork projects for his district, including the barely used John Murtha... More »

Murtha Leaves Huge Shoes ... and Big Chance for GOP

Republicans have long eyed the Pa. seat for takeover

(Newser) - The death today of Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha leaves some huge shoes to fill, and presents a great chance for Republicans. The Atlantic rounds up what’s being said about the Democrat, and what the future might bring:
  • He was the “king of pork.” Murtha used his position
... More »

Pork Applied Liberally to Grease Health Care Votes

Critics slam Senate bill's special deals for holdouts

(Newser) - A close look at the health bill before the Senate reveals that there was no shortage of pork-barrel spending thrown in to get the Democrats the 60 votes they needed. The "cash-for-cloture" deals include one dubbed the "Louisiana Purchase"—$100 million in Medicare cash for the state.... More »

Lobbyist Cozy With Lawmaker Wins Jackpot

Visclosky funnels $44M in earmarks to clients not even in his state

(Newser) - If you’ve got a tech company looking for a handout from the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, might we recommend calling Rep. Peter Visclosky? Or more accurately, call K&L Gates, a lobbying firm that boasts in its marketing documents, “a very good relationship” with Visclosky, the third-ranking member of... More »

Murtha Institute Hands Money to Murtha Friends

Funds to beef up security are showered on connected firms

(Newser) - The John P. Murtha Institute for Homeland Security may look like a mostly deserted basement below an Indiana University of Pennsylvania dormitory, but over the years it’s overseen $50 million in federal funds—almost all of it going to Murtha’s friends and industry allies, a Washington Post investigation... More »

McCain: Obama Governing From 'Far Left'

He blasts policies in interview, praises Palin for energizing party

(Newser) - John McCain is busier, and angrier, than ever, writes Stephen Moore in the Wall Street Journal. The senator has become one of the fiercest critics of Obamanomics, with free-flowing stimulus and bailout dollars re-energizing his career-long fight against pork-barrel spending. President Obama was elected to govern from the center, McCain... More »

House Bill Loaded With $6.5B the Pentagon Doesn't Want

(Newser) - They gave up on the F22, but Congress is still trying to give the Pentagon $6.9 billion in planes, helicopters and ships the Defense secretary doesn’t want, the Washington Post reports. House Democrats have loaded the defense spending bill with earmarks for programs Barack Obama and Robert Gates... More »

Obama Vows to Veto His Own Defense Bill Over F-22s

Congress tries to tack on $1.75B for planes

(Newser) - Barack Obama has found himself in the odd position of threatening to veto his own defense spending bill, after senators tacked on a last-minute amendment to spend $1.75 billion on seven F-22 fighter jets, Fox News reports. The jets are outdated, costly to fly, require frequent maintenance, and have... More »

Obama's Pet Power Plant Gets Stimulus Cash

(Newser) - When the stimulus was in the works, President Obama went to great lengths to show he was sacrificing his top pet project—a clean-coal power plant to be built in Illinois—on the altar of fiscal responsibilities. “It shows that we’re serious,” a rep for Nancy Pelosi... More »

Mormon Crickets: Earmark to Some, Real Plague to Others

(Newser) - Critics, most notably John McCain, have lambasted the latest omnibus spending bill for its 8,500 earmarks; one frequently cited provision is $1 million to fight Mormon crickets in Utah. “Is that a species of cricket or a game played by the Brits?” joked McCain over Twitter. But to... More »

Obama Takes Baby Steps on Earmark Reform

Some say he missed opportunity; others fault lack of specifics

(Newser) - President Obama announced moves to curb pork-barrel spending yesterday, but not as decisively as some hoped, Politico reports. Obama said he was signing the “imperfect omnibus because it’s necessary for the ongoing functions of government,” but in future he wants fewer earmarks in federal spending measures, and... More »

Sen. Crotchety Routine Is Old

Senator's attacks on federal spending starting to seem like sour grapes

(Newser) - John McCain's complaining about the omnibus spending bill is starting to sound more like he's trying to fight the election again instead of fighting pork-barrel spending, Mike Madden writes in Salon. The senator appears to be going out of his way to remind people how much he disagrees with President... More »

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