May 15, 2007

porkbustersnewsm.jpgPORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Drunken sailors in the Senate:

Buried in section 4010 of the Water Resources and Development Act on pages 315 and 316 is an earmark directing the secretary of the Army to conduct a feasibility study for a project on flood control of the San Francisco Bay’s south shoreline, restoration of the bay’s salt ponds and “other related purposes, as the secretary determines to be appropriate.” No amount of federal tax dollars are authorized for the project. The 4010 earmark is not unique, however, as there are 35 other earmarks in Title IV of the WRDA, 27 of which similarly do not specify an amount of federal tax dollars to be spent. The bill — which mainly concerns the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — was reported to the Senate by its Environment and Public Works Committee, chaired by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.

The fact that no specific spending amounts are specified for these earmarks makes many of them essentially blank checks that senators are being asked to approve, in effect while wearing legislative blindfolds. . . . Being open-ended, these earmarks make a mockery of the official estimate of WRDA’s cost at approximately $15 billion. The truth is nobody, least of all the senators voting for it, knows the actual cost of the bill.

Read the whole thing.

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