January 28th, 2008
06:25 PM ET

Earmarks: Pulling pork can be unappetizing

(CNN) - Most members of Congress call them earmarks. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried to get them called "legislatively directed spending." But for almost every American taxpayer I've run into over the last year, it's called "pork" and it's not very tasty.

Drew Griffin

CNN's Drew Griffin investigates congressional spending for Anderson Cooper 360°.

Earmarks are those nearly secret pet projects that are added onto the government's spending bills year after year. On Monday night, President Bush will announce what are being called "unprecedented changes" in the way lawmakers earmark money for special projects that benefit their districts or campaign contributors.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said, "The president will say that if these spending items are worthy, Congress should debate them in the open and hold a public vote."

Over the last year, I have traveled from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to San Francisco, California, to Alaska uncovering the secret pet projects of Congress.

See some of the projects earmarked for 2008 in this Behind-the-Scenes report.

– Drew Griffin, 360° Correspondent

Filed under: Drew Griffin • Earmarks
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