FEBRUARY 24, 2009
Despite Barack Obama’s threats of earmark reform another massive spending bill, unveiled by Democrats this week, is loaded with billions of dollars in pork spending for projects like gang tattoo removal, an extremist Mexican “La Raza” group and a veteran Democrat senator’s personal endowment.
One newspaper report suggests the president carve out a lot of free time and keep the coffee hot in order to follow through with his campaign promise of scrutinizing every bit of spending legislation. The article reprinted Obama’s famous campaign rhetoric: “And when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely."
The proposed $410 billion spending bill has 9,000 earmarks—controversial pet projects inserted by lawmakers—totaling $5 billion. The legislation is 345 pages long and it’s unlikely Obama will read every line before signing it. The recently passed $787.2 billion stimulus bill was also infested with earmarks and Obama signed that into law, so there isn’t much “hope” for “change” in this measure.
So far the new bill includes a $5.8 million earmark for an endowment and building for the Ted Kennedy Institute for the Senate, $1.5 million to study seals at a scandal-ridden Alaska sea life center, nearly half a million dollars for the extremist Mexican group National Council of La Raza and $200,000 for a tattoo removal program.
The earmarks are being tracked by an aide to a Republican senator from South Carolina. The Capitol Hill staffer adds new entries practically every hour and the updated list can be viewed here.
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