TLP: At Least 'Less Pork' Has Nothing To Do With Cutting Back on Bacon
This qualifies as good news, right?
The number and costs of congressional pork projects dropped this year, the Citizens Against Government Waste said in its "2010 Congressional Pig Book Summary," issued on Wednesday.Sounds great, but, really, how excited can you get when there are still more than 9,000 projects that are classified as "pork" and the cost totals $16.5 billion?
The 9,129 projects in the report "represent a 10.2 percent decline from the 10,160 projects identified in fiscal year 2009, and the $16.5 billion in cost is a 15.5 percent decrease from the $19.6 billion in pork in fiscal year 2009," the group said.
The nonpartisan group, which has been shining the light on how members of Congress use the earmarking process to steer money to projects in their districts, attributed the decrease in part to "reforms that were adopted when Democrats took over Congress in 2006."
"The changes include greater transparency, with the names of members of Congress first appearing next to their requested projects in 2008, letters of request that identify where and why the money will be spent and the elimination of earmarks named after sitting members of Congress in the House."
• Thad the Impaler Award — Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Mississippi, for $490 million in pork, including $200,000 for the Washington National Opera for set design, installation and performing arts at libraries and schools, and $500,000 for the University of Southern Mississippi for cannabis eradication.Another bonus: the "Pig Book" hits Democrats and Republicans alike, providing the opportunity for true bipartisan disgust.
• The Narcissist Award — Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, for $7.3 million to continue the Harkin Grant program and to Sen. Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, for $7 million for the Robert C. Byrd Institute of Advanced Flexible Manufacturing Systems.
• The Do You Want Fries with That Award — $2.6 million in potato research in four states requested by five senators and five representatives.
• The Putting on the Pork Award — Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-New York, for $400,000 for restoration and renovation of the historic Ritz Theater in Newburgh, New York.
• The Jekyll and Hyde Award — Rep. Leonard Lance, R-New Jersey, for his ever-changing stance on earmarks. He first signed a no-earmark pledge, then received $21 million in earmarks, then supported the Republican earmark moratorium.
• The Kick in the Asp Award — Delegate Madeleine Bordallo, D-Guam, for $500,000 for control and interdiction of brown tree snakes in Guam.