- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Citizens Against Government Waste says Congress spent a record $29 billion on nearly 10,000 pork-barrel projects in fiscal 2006, of which the group identified 375 projects totaling $3.4 billion as the “most egregious” examples.

CAGW, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to “eliminating waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement in government,” included what it considers to be the worst and “most blatant” examples of pork in its “2006 Congressional Pig Book,” released yesterday.

CAGW says most of the projects listed in the book met at least two of seven criteria: requested by only one chamber of Congress; not specifically authorized; not requested by the president; not competitively awarded; cost greatly exceeded the president’s budget request or the previous year’s funding; not the subject of congressional hearings; and served “only a local or special interest.”

“This year’s list includes: $13.5 million for the International Fund for Ireland, which helped finance the World Toilet Summit; more than $6.4 million for wood utilization research; $1 million for the Waterfree Urinal Conservation Initiative; and $500,000 for the Sparta Teapot Museum in Sparta, N.C.,” CAGW said in its new publication, which can be found at its Web site (www.cagw.org).

But the office of Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers, Michigan Republican, was not pleased that funding for the Navy’s water-free urinal initiative, which he requested, was seen as particularly loathsome and unnecessary by CAGW.

“The funding provided $1 million for the U.S. Navy so they can test water-free urinals for their applications. These urinals are already being used by the Army and have proved to be real money-savers,” said Jon Brandt, Mr. Ehler’s press secretary.

CAGW also took issue with a House decision to add $1 million for the “already-closed Philadelphia Navy Yard,” which will be the focal point of a $2 billion waterfront redevelopment project that will include a mix of commercial, office, residential and research facilities.

The group also questioned why the Department of Defense received more than $591 million for eight additional C-130J aircraft. It cited a report that rated the model unsatisfactory.

Alaska led the nation in fiscal 2006 with $489 in per-capita pork spending. Hawaii was the runner-up with $378 per capita, followed by the District of Columbia with $182.

Sen. Ted Stevens, Alaska Republican, received one of CAGW’s 14 “Oinker” awards for 2006. By garnering $325 million in “pork” for Alaska, Mr. Stevens “turned his back on taxpayers,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz said.

Meanwhile, Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, Hawaii Democrat, received the “Pacific Fleeced Award” for amassing “$482 million in pork” for his state. Mr. Inouye is on the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee, and the nearly $360.3 million that Hawaii received was for defense projects, according to the book.

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