- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sweet Sixteen. Final Four.

Egregious Eight.

That’s what Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake is calling his bracket of eight recent or ongoing government programs that he’s calling out as wasteful spending.

“We have a project called ‘Pork Chops’ where we highlight [wasteful spending], then we bring them all together for the tournament at the end of the year,” Mr. Flake said, the second year he’s held such a bracket.

The senator is inviting people to come to his congressional website and vote on which project they think is the worst waste of taxpayer money.

One of the contenders is the $1 million total paid to eight employees of the Environmental Protection Agency while they were placed on administrative leave for nearly 21,000 hours.

Others include a $210,000 grant to help set up a manufacturing plant to produce flavoring for electronic cigarettes and a $1.4 million research program to study cocaine addiction in monkeys.

• Phillip Swarts can be reached at pswarts@washingtontimes.com.

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