Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Iraqi Pork

Congress may be divided over the Iraq War -- and Democrats may be at loggerheads with the President over it -- but bipartisanship continues when it comes to packing Iraq spending bills with Pork.
"These war supplemental bills have always had wasteful domestic spending added. The difference is only in magnitude." -- Brian M. Riedl, a budget analyst at the Heritage Foundation quoted in the Washington Post

President Bush criticizes it now. But the Washington Post reports, he and his party were big fans of tacking on pork in past war spending bills:
"But such spending has been part of Iraq funding bills since the war began, sometimes inserted by the president himself, sometimes added by lawmakers with bipartisan aplomb. A few of the items may have weighed on the votes for spending bills that have now topped half a trillion dollars, but, in almost all cases over the past four years, special-interest funding provisions have been the fruits of Congressional opportunism by well-placed senators or House members grabbing what they could for their constituents on the one bill that had to be passed quickly."

Last year, the President himself stuck in:
  • $20 billion for hurricane recovery
  • $2.3 billion for bird flu preps
  • $2 billion for his immigration plan
Last year, Republicans in Congress added:

  • $500 million for farm subsidies
  • $118 million for the Gulf Coast fishing industry
  • $700 million for a railroad in Mississippi

That's all pretty much the same story as this year:

  • $120 million for Gulf fishermen
  • $74 million for peanut storage in Georgia
  • $25 million for California spinach farmers

The Post has more domestic spending items tacked on Iraq War bills going back even further. And it quotes Brian Riedl, a budget analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation as saying the pork is nothing new. (WaPo)

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