The Democrats and porkapalooza Posted by: McQ
on Monday, March 26, 2007
Of course you do remember the Democrats insistence that they'd change the way business was done in Congress as they prepared for the November vote. And, of course, since then we see more and more indicators that, in fact, nothing is changing at all.
Instead, as Steny Hoyer demonstrated last week, they're just going to redefine everything and call it something else. You recall this conversation Hoyer had with Miles O'Brien of On CNN about the House supplemental?
O'BRIEN: We got to talk about the pork. There is a lot of pork added on to it. Let's go through the list briefly. There is $74 Million in there to help peanut growers store their peanuts, there's $25 million for spinach growers dealing with that e. Coli problem, $252 million in milk subsidies, $3.3 billion in crop and livestock losses.
All of these may be worthy programs one way or another, but doesn't it in some way trivialize what is perhaps as important a vote as any vote you'll have if you start loading the pork up on this?
HOYER: Absolutely not. First of all, I don't accept your definition of pork. ... This is a bill that will have add-ons yes, but add-ons for what we believe are emergency objectives."
Well this week's "Emergency Objectives", as larded on in the Senate version of the bill, include:
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. 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. 15) $18 million for drought assistance in upper Great Plains/South West. 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. 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) 27) $50 million for fisheries disaster mitigation fund.
Yes my friends, from "ewe replacement and retention" (7) to funding failsafe agriculture (1,2,3,4,10,11) and animal husbandry (5,6,8,17,26,27) (what had a bad year? No problem, let the tax payers bail you out.) the Dems, apparently are for it. And, in a war supplemental, we are even including education, transportation and over half a billion for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) (I thought Hugo Chavez was taking care of that?).
All snark aside, lard is lard. It is simply unacceptable to pack a bill ostensibly for the continued funding of the war in Iraq with this much pork, or to adopt Rep. Hoyer's new name for the lard - "emergency objectives". It is time to stop the old way of business and hold the Democrat's feet to the fire on this.
You Dems out there - is this what you voted for ... more waste, more personal pork projects, more of the old 'business as usual'? Is this sort of nonsense acceptable to you?
How about a new amendment? "Neither congress, nor the states shall authorize nor fund in any way shape manner or form any agricultural or animal husbandry, or aquaculture projects of any kind whatsoever."
Well I suppose they are that if - as I stated in the most recent thread to show the pork - you expand the definition of "emergency objectives" to mean anything they can possibly add on to get Dems to vote for it.
Unaha, You fail to realize something...
This "need to secure democrat votes" to pass an Iraq-funding bill ignores a LARGE block of voters that would vote straight up to fund it. They are called Republicans.
Infact, I defy anyone to call the items on that list anything other than what they are:
Bribes to buy dem votes (and two repub) votes for a bill that should have included military funding, and nothing else.
You’re fooling yourself if you don’t think there are republicans who want the pork in there to also please their agricultural constituents. So long as the goal is to keep getting votes then the goal will be this sort of action; from both sides.