Citizens Against Government Waste has just released a report on pork stuffed into the Senate version of the fiscal year 2010 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. 308 projects are costing us $199.1 million. Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has $58 million for 30 projects and Subcommittee Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) added $3 million for 11 projects, for a combined total of $61 million. That is 30.6 percent of the $199.1 million in the bill.
Here's some of what we're getting for our money:
- $11,190,000 by 20 senators for 25 projects under the Historic Preservation Fund, including: $250,000 by Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) for restoration of the Blount Mansion in Knoxville and $200,000 by Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee member Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) for the State Theatre in Sioux Falls.
- $4,000,000 by Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (Alcatraz Island). According to her website, the project is a “valuable use of taxpayer funds because it will provide the public with an opportunity to visit this historic building in a refurbished state, which contributes to the national priority of preserving historic buildings.” Earmarking $4 million during an economic crisis on building preservation is not a national priority.
- $1,820,000 by Senate appropriator Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) to acquire more land for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. The earmark will be used to purchase 1,000 acres of fragmented land contiguous to the trail from owners who expressed interest in developing their land. Instead, the federal government will buy the land and leave it undeveloped.
- $1,200,000 by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) for rat eradication at the Palmyra Atoll Natural Wildlife Refuge. That money can buy 600,000 rat traps.
- $1,000,000 by Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee member Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.) for the Chesapeake Bay Gateways. The Chesapeake Bay Gateways receive 10 million visitors annually. This earmark could be covered by charging each visitor 10 cents, which would take the burden off taxpayers.
- $1,000,000 by Senate appropriator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) for the Sewall-Belmont House in Washington, D.C., which holds private events, offers catering, and is visited by tourists who are encouraged to leave donations.
As for me, I plan on keeping track of what each of these greedy government wonks wastes our money on. Remember these posterior orifices at re-election time!!