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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Boehner Warns Majority Not to Put Billions in Worthless Pork on the Backs of Our Troops & Veterans

ARRA note: Sen . Blanche Lincoln added pork earmark to Labor-HHS Bill - $1 million in taxpayer funding for the [Bill] Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, Arkansas.
House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH): In advance of an expected motion to go to conference on the Labor/HHS Appropriations bill, House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) warned Democratic leaders that House Republicans will oppose any effort to send a giant spending package of three bills to the President that adds billions in worthless pork on the backs of our troops and veterans. Boehner issued the following statement urging Democratic leaders to bring a clean troops/veterans funding bill to the floor:

The Majority is attempting to use our troops and veterans to win passage of a pork-laden Labor-HHS spending bill. They are once again attempting to pass pork-barrel spending on the backs of our troops and veterans, just as they did last spring in the fight over the supplemental spending bill. Our soldiers and veterans deserve better, and House Republicans will oppose any effort to combine these three spending bills into one omnibus loaded up with billions in pork-barrel spending. The President has already said he will veto the bill, so continuing on this course is little more than a calculated political strategy that is doomed to failure.

House Democratic leaders have already stalled completion of the veterans and troops funding bill for 138 days even though this bill has received overwhelming bipartisan support every year. These types of decisions underscore the Majority’s flawed priorities that put politics before bipartisan accomplishment. House Republicans will continue to fight for a clean bill to support our veterans and our troops to ensure they receive critical benefits like housing and health care they need.”

Some examples of unnecessary projects funded through the Labor-HHS bills Democratic leaders are attempting to attach to bills funding troops and veterans:
· The Labor-HHS bill includes $250,000 in taxpayer funding requested by Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) for O’Neill Sea Odyssey, an “educational” program conducted “on board a 65-foot catamaran sailing Monterey Bay.”
· $1.5 million in taxpayer funding requested by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), a top recipient of special-interest campaign cash from labor unions, for the AFL-CIO’s “Working for America Institute” – an initiative that has been deemed wasteful and duplicative by government watchdogs. Nearly two-thirds of the $1.5 million requested would go to AFL-CIO staff salaries.
· $3.6 million in taxpayer funding for construction of (yet another) pork-barrel facility for Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) – in this case, a three-story, 26,000 square foot building on a local college campus.
· $1 million in taxpayer funding requested by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AK) for the [Bill] Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, Arkansas.
· $100,000 requested by Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) for “development of a Portuguese and Lusophone Studies Program” at Rhode Island College.
· $250,000 requested by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) – who last year told the Wall Street Journal she would consider eliminating all earmarks if elected Speaker – for a project known as the “Exploratorium” in San Francisco, CA.

The bill also increases funding for government bureaucrats at the U.S. Department of Education who make an average of $95,282 annually, but under-funds by $100 million the one program in the bill designed to actually help quality teachers, who earn an average annual salary of $47,602. Why? The Teacher Incentive Program is opposed by special-interest labor organizations such as the National Education Association (NEA), which opposes giving extra pay to teachers who demonstrate excellence in the classroom.

Last week, House Republicans called for three votes (on October
23, 24, and 25) to force Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to name House conferees and complete work on the veterans and troops funding measure. Democrats turned back Republicans on each of three votes and have refused to name conferees on the bill. Today, the Majority is poised to take the next step in their strategy to pile billions in pork onto the backs of our men and women in uniform. Will rank-and-file Democrats follow their leadership down this cynical road, or will they join Republicans in supporting a clean veterans and troops funding bill?

Tags: Blanche Lincoln, Congressional Pork, Democrats, John Boehner, labor-HHS bill, pork, pork-barrel spenders, Republicans, support troops, US House
Posted by Bill Smith at 9:00 AM - Post Link


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