I’ve spent some time here writing about Congressional earmarks, and according to the 2010 “Pig Book” released by government watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste, spending on congressional pet projects is actually 15% lower this year than last. What’s more, earmark spending is down 40 percent from 2006, when the Republican-controlled Congress spent a record-high $29.5 billion on earmarks.
As part of the “Pork Book,” CAG also announced a series of awards, a few of which are worth noting here:
- The Jekyll and Hyde Award to Representative Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) for his ever-changing stance on earmarks; first signing a no-earmark pledge, then receiving $21 million in earmarks, then supporting the Republican earmark moratorium.
- The Thad the Impaler Award to Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) for $490 million in pork.
- The Narcissist Award to Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) for $7,287,000 to continue the Harkin Grant program and to Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) for $7,000,000 for the Robert C. Byrd Institute of Advanced Flexible Manufacturing Systems.
- The Little Engine That Couldn’t Award for $465 million for the Joint Strike Fighter alternate engine. It’s worth noting Defense Secretart Robert Gates has indicated the military does not want or need an alternate F35 engine, but Sens. Sherrod Brown (D) and George Voinovich (R) of Ohio were strong supporters of the project.
A quick search of the complete pork database showed zero earmark requests for Sen. Russ Feingold, while Sen. Herb Kohl had a total of 70 earmark requests totaling $96,892,210.
You can read the entire “Pig Book” for yourself.