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Congressional Leadership Brings Home the Pork

Being in charge has its privileges

The 3,016-page and $388.4 billion omnibus spending bill that Congress approved November 20 included thousands of earmarks, otherwise known as “pork-barrel” projects.

Leaders of both houses of Congress wasted little time publicizing much of the money they had managed to sneak in to the bill to benefit narrow interests in their home states or districts.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R.-Tenn.) provided the most detailed list, for which he also credited his home state colleague, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R.-Tenn.). Incoming Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) also produced a long list of the pork-barrel items he was bringing home this Christmas season.

In the House, neither Speaker Dennis Hastert (R.-Ill.) nor Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R.-Tex.) released information about the earmarks for their districts. But Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R.-Mo.), who is the third-ranking Republican, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) played up their accomplishments.

Human Events Assistant Editor Robert B. Bluey compiled the list of earmarks attributable to Senators Frist and Reid and Representatives Blunt and Pelosi from their own press releases and with the help of Angela French, a research associate at Citizens Against Government Waste.

Earmarked Pork

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R.-Tenn.)

  • $47,500,000: Boll Weevil Eradication Program
  • $17,000,000: Chickamauga Lock
  • $3,500,000: Acquire Walls of Jericho on Cumberland Plateau
  • $2,000,000: East Tennessee Methamphetamine Taskforce
  • $1,000,000: Downtown Transit Center in Nashville
  • $750,000: Walden’s Ridge Water System in Hamilton County
  • $750,000: Wolf River Ecosystem Restoration Project in Memphis
  • $500,000: Big South Fork Visitors Center
  • $500,000: Memphis Zoo
  • $500,000: Museum of Appalachia
  • $400,000: Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area
  • $300,000: East Tennessee Ozone Study
  • $250,000: Native American Indian Association
  • $250,000: Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
  • $250,000: Chattanooga African American Chamber of Commerce
  • $250,000: Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at University of Memphis

    Senate Minority Leader-elect Harry Reid (D.-Nev.)

  • $10,000,000: Hoover Dam Bypass project
  • $7,000,000: New roads in Reno
  • $5,000,000: Blue Diamond Highway
  • $1,500,000: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police
  • $1,000,000: Build highway around Boulder City
  • $800,000: Las Vegas Post Office Museum
  • $750,000: National Judicial College in Reno
  • $735,000: Family Development Foundation in Las Vegas
  • $300,000: Driver-mounted drowsiness detection, warning and control systems
  • $250,000: Nevada Child Seekers
  • $250,000: Reno Fourth Street Corridor Improvements
  • $250,000: Nevada Partners Vocational Training Center
  • $250,000: Urban Chamber of Commerce Job Training Center
  • $200,000: Computer Corps Skills Toward Enhancing Success
  • $200,000: Boulder City Wireless Communications Canopy
  • $50,000: UNLV Boyd School of Law Immigration Clinic

    House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R.-Mo.)

  • $5,972,000: Table Rock Lake
  • $4,500,000: Sweeney Museum at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield
  • $3,760,000: Stockton Lake and Big Eddy Archeological Site
  • $3,000,000: James River Expressway-Business 65 Interchange
  • $2,000,000: Springfield Regional Intelligent Transportation System
  • $1,500,000: Joplin Air Terminal
  • $1,400,000: Springfield Regional Arts Center
  • $1,300,000: Life sciences and dental hygiene at Missouri Southern State University
  • $1,200,000: George Washington Carver National Monument Visitors’ Center
  • $1,000,000: Crowder College Alternative and Renewable Energy Technology Center
  • $1,000,000: Springfield-Branson Regional Airport
  • $580,000: Jasper County Sheriff’s Office
  • $475,000: Gillioz Theater at Ronald & Nancy Reagan Center
  • $350,000: Joplin Crossroad Parallel Sewer Phase 4
  • $200,000: Students in Free Enterprise
  • $162,000: Joplin VIII Public Schools Success Builders

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.)

  • $100,000,000: BART extension to San Francisco airport
  • $10,000,000: Extend Third Street Light Rail to Chinatown District
  • $5,000,000: Seismic retrofit of Golden Gate Bridge
  • $4,000,000: San Francisco Alternative Fuel Bus Facility
  • $2,123,000: Restore schooner C.A. Thayer
  • $1,500,000: HIV services for persons of color and women
  • $1,500,000: International Center to End Violence
  • $970,000: Senior Homeless and Supportive Housing Project
  • $750,000: Ex-offender reentry services to decrease homelessness
  • $750,000: California Safe from Start: Reducing Children’s Exposure to Violence
  • $591,000: International Museum of Women
  • $450,000: “Safe Streets” gun violence prevention
  • $400,000: Charity Cultural Services Center: Skills for Life for Asian Immigrants
  • $388,000: San Francisco Filipino Cultural Center
  • $300,000: Convert San Francisco Old Mint to history museum
  • $250,000: Exploratorium Museum
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