Tracking Congressional pork
April 18, 2010
Some call them earmarks. Others use the term “pork.” But it is an age old debate both inside and outside the Beltway. How much federal funding should elected representatives be bringing home for their pet projects at the expense of the national good (not to mention the national treasury)?
One national watchdog group makes the task of tracking Congressional pork easier with a web site that provides a comprehensive list of all funded projects for each U.S. Senator and House member. [Citizens Against Government Waste]
The web site lists 11,610 so-called “pork barrel” projects from Fiscal Year 2008, the last year for which complete numbers are available.
For example, type Lois Capps in the search engine. Up pops 13 different funded projects. Cong. Capps was able to secure $147,000 for the new Santa Maria Public Library, $490,000 for Santa Maria Transit, and $470,000 for the Oxnard Police Department for records management.
Type in Kevin McCarthy, who represents Arroyo Grande and most of North County. Four projects. for a total of $693,500, are listed. Cong. McCarthy secured $282,000 for the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department, $146,000 to Cal Poly for new equipment, and $195,000 to CSU Bakersfield for its nursing program.
The good news, critics say, is that funding for earmarks is down 15.5 percent from $19.6 billion in Fiscal Year 2009. [San Francisco Chronicle]
In Congress, 38 Republicans and 11 Democrats did not request earmarks this year.