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December 15th, 2009
08:47 PM ET

A few of the 5,000 earmarks in the spending bill

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste today urged President Barack Obama to veto the $446.8 billion omnibus spending bill. The bill, H.R. 3288, passed the House of Representatives on December 10, 2009 and the Senate on December 13, 2009. The omnibus is an amalgamation of six of the seven remaining fiscal year (FY) 2010 spending bills: Transportation, Housing and Urban Development; Commerce, Justice, Science; Labor/Health and Human Services, and Education; State and Foreign Operations; Financial Services and General Government, and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs. The omnibus appropriations bill contains thousands of earmarks worth billions of dollars and an average 12% increase in the departments and agencies funded in the six appropriations bills.

Here are some of the earmarks in the bill:

TRANSPORTATION-EDI (Economic Development Initiative)
• $1,000,000 by Senate appropriator Judd Gregg for repairs, restoration
and modernization of a theatre and construction of an additional space at the Portsmouth Music Hall
• $400,000 by House appropriator Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) for restoration
and renovation of the historic Ritz Theatre
• $400,000 by Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) for construction and renovation
for safety improvements at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden
• $350,000 by House appropriator Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) and Rep. Robert
Brady (D-Pa.) for renovation of the Uptown Theatre
• $250,000 by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) for construction of the Monroe
County Farmer’s Market
• $250,000 by Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) for building renovation of the
Murphy Theatre
• $194,000 by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) for completion of the
historic restoration project at the Historic Slater Mill
• $150,000 by House appropriator Jose Serrano for Safe Harbors of the
Hudson, Inc., for renovation and buildout of the Pregones Theatre
• $100,000 by Rep. House appropriator Calvert (R-Calif.) for construction
on the Santa Ana River Trail

FINANCIAL SERVICES-SBA
• $200,000 by House appropriator Marion Berry (D-Ark.) for the Arkansas
Commercial Driver Training Institute at Arkansas State University
• $150,000 by House appropriator James Moran (D-Va.) and Eleanor Holmes
Norton (D-D.C.) for education programs and exhibitions at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.
• $134,000 by House appropriator Dennis Rehberg (R-Mont.) for Montana
Growth Through Trade at the Montana World Trade Center
• $100,000 by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Rep. Henry Brown (R-S.C.)
for the Myrtle Beach International Trade and Conference Center

LABOR/HHS
• $500,000 by Senate appropriator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Charles Grassley
(R-Iowa) for exhibits relating to the Mississippi River at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque
• $200,000 by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran
(R-Miss.) for the Washington National Opera for set design, installation, and performing arts at libraries and schools
• $150,000 by Louis McIntosh Slaughter (D-N.Y.) for exhibits and
interactive displays at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site Foundation in Buffalo

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Mike Union,KY.

    I just watched your report on earmarks and I am amazed on what "Items" some of our Tax money get spend. Why is it, that this country has money for "this and that",while a big number of our Veterans of our the armed forces are becoming homeless and are having other problems?? If some of the Senators would earmark some money there,I probably wouldn't have a problem with some earmarks. Our boys risk there live every day in Iraque and Afghanistan and we as a country can not take care of them when they come back home and having trouble reintegrating in to the civilian live. I hope the President vetos each and every unnecessary earmark spending

    December 16, 2009 at 6:03 am |
  2. Deanna

    These projects seem like worth while projects, for hte most part. However in a time where the majority of people are barely making it, they don't seem important. My opinion is that they should just put off all pet projects for one year. They would save money and the economy more time to heal. Or as a previous writer said, "pay down the deficit, or pay for the health care plan (such as it is) or put into job creation."

    December 16, 2009 at 5:48 am |
  3. Randi

    Wow. I never comment on these things, but I just heard Anderson say that IBS research is pork! So is cancer research pork? I have Colitis and I have spent more money and time trying to control it in the past 3 years. Many people have IBS, colitis and chrons. These diseases are horrible. Try working when you have diarhea all day long. I also pay a huge insurance premium because they say I have a chronic disease. This disease is very treatable, but not enough money is spent to help us. The onset of this disease is early 20's to 30's. Untreated it can lead to other cancer. Isn't it time we learn how to prevent and treat diseases instead of surgery always being the answer. Also the drugs that work best are very expensive. I can believe you think IBS is not a big deal. Try feeling like you have the stomach flu for 6 months and then let me know if you change your mind!

    December 16, 2009 at 1:40 am |
  4. Larry Johnson

    Why are you knocking money for educational exhibits. Design and fabrication of exhibits is an industry that employs people, including me. What's wrong with money for education?

    December 16, 2009 at 1:26 am |
  5. samson phoenix metro

    I agree
    we need to spend more money on seniors with limited income is a lot more crucial http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/Washington-Watch/17568#rate
    big drug companies lobbysts are in favor of insuring all the un insured, why? because more patients will be buying expensive drugs from them. that is the profiteering mentality. SAMSON

    December 16, 2009 at 12:03 am |
  6. Lee Davis

    We focus on the earmarks but the real issue is the major jump in funding for agencies. With the average federal salary's of $71000 the cost of government is too high. Agencies will use the funding to increase grades of existing employees, travel and adding to DC staffing. Also included in the bill is a COL of 2% for federal employees–does that make sense in this time of 10%+ unemployment? This will only stop when the financial markets refuse to loan to us.

    December 15, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  7. Clinton, Lynchburg, VA

    What does the restoration of the Ritz Carlton in NY have to do with healthcare? We are asking banks to start lending and cut bonuses but are elected officials continue to miss the big picture. Perhaps our elected officials should take a long look in the mirror and ask themselves a few hard questions like what is best for the American people at this time.

    December 15, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  8. Patrick

    What people do not understand about the $446.8 billion omnibus spending bill is who is going to pay for it.

    December 15, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  9. Karen, Maryland

    While there are worthwhile projects on this list, we do not need to be spending money on things that are not crucial. This money could have been used to pay down the deficit, or pay for the health care plan (such as it is) or put into job creation.

    December 15, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
  10. A. Smith, Oregon

    America has a democratic government. American business's and corporations pay millions into the pockets of Washington's lawmakers and in turn Washington's lawmakers pass special bills, riders and laws which specifically benefit those benefactors.

    That's how democracy works, if you don't like it then move to a socially progressive government.

    You get what you pay lawmakers for, if you don't pay then don't expect Washington lawmakers to benefit you with perks and pet projects!

    December 15, 2009 at 9:56 pm |
  11. Richard

    Spending, Spending, Spending. Hasn't anyone ever heard of saving and paying off all this debt that we have accumalated in the previous admistration. I have an idea. End the wars; save money.

    December 15, 2009 at 9:40 pm |
  12. Annie Kate

    These earmarks come to 4.679 million – less than 1 percent of the total of the bill and the earmarks don't look like bridges to no where. In reviewing the list, I saw items for education, the arts, international trade, and the maintenance and renovation of some of our old architecture. I really don't think these are bad earmarks. We need to save our old historic theaters and halls and we need to support the arts and education. I would rather see us fund these projects than fund further action in the war in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    Perhaps some of the cost of these projects could be funded jointly by the state. If not, then we need to decide if it is important to conserve our national heritage through our buildings/theaters and fund specific education projects not funded elsewhere. Surely there are some other earmarks that are more egregious than those listed here that we could throw out. .

    December 15, 2009 at 9:39 pm |