I guess this has kinda become my calling for now. I'm working on earmarks put into the cap and trade mess, but I had to table that for a preemptive strike.
The Senate version of the FY2010 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act is going to be coming up for debate and a vote. Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has uncovered some projects stuffed into this legislation that are suspicious to say the least. While we definitely need to fund DHS, tell me if some of these don't have a rotten smell about them.
Buckle up, kids!!
- $50,500,000 by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Senate DHS Appropriations Subcommittee member Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Senate appropriator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) for the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC) in their states. The Senate bill appropriates $132 million to the NDPC without the earmark; Nev., N.M. and Texas already have $23 million for NDPC programs.
- $43,300,000 by Senate DHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.): $39.7 million to construct the Advanced Training Center (ATC) and $3.6 million for an Operations Systems Center’s operating expenses; both are located in West Virginia. The Civil War Librarian blog reported that on May 31, 2008, Sen. Byrd visited the ATC’s new firing range, and told a crowd of more than 300 that “Today, the efforts of hundreds of people are spread before us like a blessing.” The blog noted that Sen. Byrd was “proud” that he secured $123 million in design and construction funds for the ATC since 1999, as well as $26 million from Customs and Border Protection. Byrd received one of “many rounds of applause” when he said “That ain’t chicken feed.”
- $20,865,000 by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) for the Southeast Region Research Initiative in Tennessee.
- $10,000,000 by House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) for the National Institute for Hometown Security (NIHS). According to the Institute’s website, “NIHS is a private, non-profit 501(c)3 corporation. NIHS was organized in 2004 through the leadership of Kentucky Fifth District Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers. Congressman Rogers suggested organizing the higher education institutions of Kentucky to more effectively compete for research funds and projects aimed at improving homeland security. The Kentucky Homeland Security University Consortium resulted from his efforts. NIHS is the administrative manager for the Consortium.” In other words, Americans are paying $10 million so these institutions can be more effective at getting more of the taxpayers’ money.
- $900,000 by Senate DHS Appropriations Committee member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) for an Emergency Operations Center in the city of Whitefish, Montana. In 2007 Whitefish had a population of 5,849; the earmark equals $153.87 for every resident.
Call your senators. Tell them the earmarks go or they do. This nation can't afford their pet projects.