Friday, March 30, 2007

The "new" direction

If this is a "new" direction, look for another "new" direction coming up in the 08 elections.

Congress plays the pork card. This is a “New Direction”?: Leaning Straight Up
So since congress launched this session, they have wrangled on how to address the war so as to appease the angry voices like Code Pink and the Sheehanistas who demand action now.

Well, they finally managed to pull it off. They had to find a solution to get the cut and runners to support the slow bleed tactic, as the cooler heads in congress know that an immediate pullout would never fly. They finally found the solution. A funding package that contains emergency funding, a non binding timetable for withdrawal...oh yes and a ton of Pork Spending to lure the reluctant nutroots in from the left.

It took an exceptional amount of pork to make it pass. The Democrats loaded it with enough pet projects they of course labeled as Emergency Objectives.

And you may ask how much? I'm glad you asked. QandO and ST provide the answers:

1) $24 million for funding for sugar beets.
2) $3 million for funding for sugar cane (goes to one Hawaiian co-op).
3) $20 million for insect infestation damage reimbursements in Nevada, Idaho, and Utah.
4) $2.1 billion for crop production losses.
5) $1.5 billion for livestock production losses.
6) $100 million for Dairy Production Losses.
7) $13 million for Ewe Lamb Replacement and Retention Program. (note to Pelosi. What if we don't want to retain Ewe?)
8) $32 million for Livestock Indemnity Program.
9) $40 million for the Tree Assistance Program.
10) $100 million for Small Agricultural Dependent Businesses.
11) $6 million for North Dakota flooded crop land.
12) $35 million for emergency conservation program.
13) $50 million for the emergency watershed program.
14) $115 million for the conservation security program. (is that to conserve the Homeland Security Department?)
15) $18 million for drought assistance in upper Great Plains/South West. (drought and flooding assistance. We got it all covered.)
16) Provision that extends the availability by a year $3.5 million in funding for guided tours of the Capitol. Also a provision allows transfer of funds from holiday ornament sales in the Senate gift shop.
17) 165.9 million for fisheries disaster relief, funded through NOAA (including $60.4 million for salmon fisheries in the Klamath Basin region).
18) $12 million for forest service money (requested by the president in the non-emergency FY2008 budget).
19) $425 million for education grants for rural areas – (Secure Rural Schools program).
20) $640 million for LIHEAP.
21) $25 million for asbestos abatement at the Capitol Power Plant.
22) $388.9 million for funding for backlog of old Department of Transportation projects. (that is a BIG backlog.)
23) $22.8 million for geothermal research and development.
24) $500 million for wildland fire management.
25) $13 million for mine safety technology research.
26) $31 million for one month extension of Milk Income Loss Contract program (MILC) (or more commonly known as P.O.R.K.)
27) $50 million for fisheries disaster mitigation fund.

By my count that is more then 6.4 BILLION in pork projects tacked onto the 124 billion spending package. or about 5.2 percent of the spending.
My comments are in bold.
I also received a press release from Rep. Bill Sali detailing his disgust with the pork.

How disheartening that Speaker Pelosi and her House lieutenants included in the bill the worst, rawest form of political bribery - spending on the parochial pet projects of wavering Members of Congress. By including everything from funding for Gulf Coast levees and shrimp subsidies to peanut storage money and a spinach program, Speaker Pelosi bought the votes of reluctant Congressmen - some who want an immediate pullout and some who don't really support a timeline at all.

Mrs. Pelosi's bill even included badly needed money for rural Northwestern schools, counties and highway districts. For Idaho alone, the bill provided more than $23 million for schools and counties - an extension of the “Craig-Wyden” funds. This item was included specifically so my Pacific Northwest colleagues and I would have to choose between a vote for the Democrat troop pull-out plan or a difficult vote against schools and roads.

If House Democrat leadership truly agrees with me that relief is needed for our rural schools and counties, they should be willing to permit a straight up-or-down vote. I have introduced legislation in the House to accomplish this, and Senators Larry Craig and Mike Crapo have introduced identical legislation on the Senate.

It shocks and infuriates me to see Mrs. Pelosi and the Democrat majority in Congress use Idaho's schoolchildren and economic infrastructure as pawns in the War against America's enemies.

2 comments:

RobK said...

First, I am no fan of the Democratic Congress.

Second, I think pork is bad.

But it happens on both sides. Complaining about it now but not when the Republicans were there is a tad disingenuous.

I think there culture of death is far bigger deal than politicians being politicians. Something they all do.

KaleJ said...

Rob,
If you read my writings, you will see I am no fan of either side. I point out the flaws both ways. This is just to note for the left bank to notice the brave "new" direction we are heading.