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March 27, 2007

Congress: Supporting the Troops...As Long As Pet Projects Get Funded

It's no wonder Congress has dismal approval ratings. It seems as though the only way we can get funding for our troops overseas in Iraq is to attach pork projects. Just look at some of the attachments to the recent war funding bill that squeaked through the House:

$4.2 billion in disaster aid for farmers hurt by drought, floods and other disasters in recent years.

$6.7 billion in additional federal efforts to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, including housing aid, public infrastructure funding and aid to Gulf Coast fishermen.

$3.1 billion to implement a 2005 round of military base closures, which helps local communities affected by military base closings paves the way for redeployment of 12,000 troops stationed in Germany and South Korea to domestic bases.

$2 billion for national security efforts such as port security, explosives detection for airline baggage and rail and mass transit security grants.

$747 million to ease a shortfall in the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides health care to children from low-income families.

$640 million in heating subsidies for the poor and elderly.

$500 million to combat Western wildfires.

What does any of that have to do with funding operations in Iraq? Democrats who voted "yes" claim they weren't bought, but that's kind of hard to believe when you look at the add-ons and consider that they total $21 billion.

"Wartime funding should be not used as a gravy train," said Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire.

Absolutely. Unfortunately, it's how Congress has behaved for years. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) says, "I think we also have to make sure that we don't lose sight of what we have to do here at home."

What we need to be doing at home is cutting government pork, not increasing it. But then, it's easy to spend money when it's not yours.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Government
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