A list of Tea Party Caucus members and their earmark requests in Fiscal Year 2010, courtesy of Citizens Against Government Waste’s Pig Book:
NAME EARMARKS AMOUNT Aderholt (R-AL) 69 $78,263,000 Akin (R-MO) 9 $14,709,000 Alexander (R-LA) 41 $65,395,000 Bachmann (R-MN) 0 0 Barton (R-TX) 14 $12,269,400 Bartlett (R-MD) 19 $43,060,650 Bilirakis (R-FL) 14 $13,600,000 R. Bishop (R-UT) 47 $93,980,000 Burgess (R-TX) 15 $15,804,400 Broun (R-GA) 0 0 Burton (R-IN) 0 0 Carter (R-TX) 26 $42,232,000 Coble (R-NC) 19 $18,755,000 Coffman (R-CO) 0 0 Crenshaw (R-FL) 37 $54,424,000 Culberson (R-TX) 22 $33,792,000 Fleming (R-LA) 10 $31,489,000 Franks (R-AZ) 8 $14,300,000 Gingrey (R-GA) 19 $16,100,000 Gohmert (R-TX) 15 $7,099,000 S. Graves (R-MO) 11 $8,331,000 R. Hall (R-TX) 16 $12,232,000 Harper (R-MS) 25 $80,402,000 Herger (R-CA) 5 $5,946,000 Hoekstra (R-MI) 9 $6,392,000 Jenkins (R-KS) 12 $24,628,000 S. King (R-IA) 13 $6,650,000 Lamborn (R-CO) 6 $16,020,000 Luetkemeyer (R-MO) 0 0 Lummis (R-WY) 0 0 Marchant (R-TX) 0 0 McClintock (R-CA) 0 0 Gary Miller (R-CA) 15 $19,627,500 Jerry Moran (R-KS) 22 $19,400,000 Myrick (R-NC) 0 0 Neugebauer (R-TX) 0 0 Pence (R-IN) 0 0 Poe (R-TX) 12 $7,913,000 T. Price (R-GA) 0 0 Rehberg (R-MT) 88 $100,514,200 Roe (R-TN) 0 0 Royce (R-CA) 7 $6,545,000 Scalise (R-LA) 20 $17,388,000 P. Sessions (R-TX) 0 0 Shadegg (R-AZ) 0 0 Adrian Smith (R-NE) 1 $350,000 L. Smith (R-TX) 18 $14,078,000 Stearns (R-FL) 17 $15,472,000 Tiahrt (R-KS) 39 $63,400,000 Wamp (R-TN) 14 $34,544,000 Westmoreland (R-GA) 0 0 Wilson (R-SC) 15 $23,334,000 TOTAL 764 $1,049,783,150
When Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) released the first Congressional Pig Book in 1991, the group was a lonely voice in the pork-barrel wilderness. There was only modest objection to the 546 projects worth $3.2 billion, and “earmark” was virtually unknown. The one constant since then has been the undisputed reign of the King of Pork, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.).
After Republicans took over Congress in 1994, pork-barrel projects started to be used as a currency of re-election. Over the following decade, they became a currency of corruption, and the explosion in earmarks to their peak at $29 billion in 2006 helped erase the Republican majority. The 9,129 projects in the 2010 Congressional Pig Book represent a 10.2 percent decline from the 10,160 projects identified in fiscal year 2009, and the $16.5 billion in cost is a 15.5 percent decrease from the $19.6 billion in pork in fiscal year 2009.
The reforms that were adopted when Democrats took over Congress in 2006 can be attributed to many years of work exposing earmarks, especially the outpouring of public outrage over projects such as $50,000,000 for an indoor rainforest in Iowa and $500,000 for a teapot museum in North Carolina.
The changes include greater transparency, with the names of members of Congress first appearing next to their requested projects in 2008; letters of request that identify where and why the money will be spent; and the elimination of earmarks named after sitting members of Congress in the House.
For fiscal year 2011, House Democrats are not requesting earmarks that go to for-profit entities; House Republicans are not requesting any earmarks (although there are both exceptions and definitional questions); not surprisingly, the Senate has rejected any limits on earmarks. None of these reforms are sufficient to eliminate all earmarks, so CAGW expects there will still be a 2011 Pig Book.
The transparency changes are far from perfect. The fiscal year 2010 Defense Appropriations Act contained 35 anonymous projects worth $6 billion, or 59 percent of the total pork in the bill. Out of the 9,129 projects in the 2010 Congressional Pig Book there were 9,048 requested projects worth $10 billion and 81 anonymous projects worth $6.5 billion.
The latest installment of CAGW’s 20-year exposé of pork-barrel spending includes $4,481,000 for wood utilization research, $300,000 for Carnegie Hall in New York City, and $200,000 for the Washington National Opera in the District of Columbia.
Following the exit of Alaska porker extraordinaire Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), the state slipped to number four in pork per capita. Hawaii led the nation with $251 per capita ($326 million). The runners up were North Dakota with $197 per capita ($127 million) and West Virginia with $146 per capita ($265 million).
The projects in this year’s Congressional Pig Book Summary symbolize the most egregious and blatant examples of pork. As in previous years, all of the items in the Congressional Pig Book meet at least one of CAGW’s seven criteria, but most satisfy at least two:
Not specifically authorized;
Not competitively awarded;
Not requested by the President;
Greatly exceeds the President’s budget request or the previous year’s funding;
Not the subject of congressional hearings; or
Serves only a local or special interest.
2010 Pig Book Summary
The 2010 Congressional Pig Book Summary gives a snapshot of each appropriations bill and details the juiciest projects culled from the complete Pig Book. (.pdf)