The Democrats’ green-eyeshade phase lasted only a couple of weeks. Now the headline is: Democrats Unveil $463.5B Spending Bill, which the Associated Press describes as “massive.” But what, exactly, is in it? Apparently the bill will sweep through both the House and the Senate before we have much chance to find out.
But Republicans charged today that the Democrats have gone back on their pledge that “There will be no congressional earmarks in the joint funding resolution that we will pass.” On the contrary, the Republican leadership says, the Democrats’ bill is heavily larded with pork:
[W]ith no input from rank-and-file Republicans or Democrats, this massive $463.5 billion Democrat measure allows plenty of on-going earmarks funded in previous years to continue to receive funding. Among those earmarks overlooked by the Democrats:
*The Tropical Rain Forest in Iowa is Back. The whopping measure keeps the infamous rain forest biosphere project in Iowa on track to receive $44.6 million.
*Department of Energy (DOE) Weapons Projects Total $495 million in Earmarks. The bill allows funding to continue for:
o $149 million for three construction projects nearing completion in FY 2007.
o $80 million for the cancelled Life Extension Program for the W80 warhead.
o $266 million for cancelled earmarks contained in the FY 2006 conference report.
*Department of Energy (DOE) Fossil Energy Research and Development Total $114 million in Earmarks. The measure allows continued funding for:
o $49.7 million in duplicative funding for oil and gas research at DOE even though the program now has a similar mandatory funding stream which began under the 2005 Energy Policy Act.
That’s not an especially impressive list, but I’m sure it’s only the beginning.
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