March 22, 2007

MORE PORK PUSHBACK:

An Iraq spending bill Congress will vote on Thursday has an Eagle Mountain mother angry, but not about war spending. The huge, 124.1 billion dollar appropriation bill also contains billions of dollars in spending that has nothing to do with the war. . . .

“I understand this is the way our legislature works, but I think it’s just sickening,” Michelle Matthews of Eagle Mountain told ABC 4 News. She’s upset because one of the earmarks reimburses California spinach farmers $25 million for losses they suffered. The losses came when they were unable to sell their crops last fall after Americans got sick and died from e-coli bacteria in a batch of tainted spinach.

Some of that spinach found its way to the Matthew’s dinner table. Michelle got sick, but her daughter, Arabella, almost died. Arabella was just two-years-old when she came down with e-coli. She spent nine days at Primary Children’s Hospital, had an operation and was on kidney dialysis.

The Matthews have about $60,000 in medical bills now, mostly covered by insurance. She says the family has been assured the spinach grower’s insurance company would pay the bills, but no money has arrived. Then Mrs. Matthews read that the spinach farmers stand to gain $25 million from the Iraq war spending bill.

“To reimburse them for making people ill is just inappropriate,” Mrs. Matthews said. “It’s insane that my tax dollars and the tax dollars of my family are going to pay these spinach farmers for their bad spinach for things that were their fault in the first place.”

Bailing out an industry that makes children sick, with taxpayer dollars! Now that’s smart politics!

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