Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed its omnibus spending bill which combined six “regular” appropriations bills into one giant monstrosity. As is typical with such bills, members of congress lined up to discretely stuff goodies for their own districts into the bill’s 2,500 pages.
Let me point out some lowlights of this bill:
- It contains a 12 percent spending increase over 2009
- It contains a 24.4 percent increase in spending over 2008
- $446 billion in total spending
- 5,224 earmarks worth $3.8 billion
- A whopping 1 hour debate
Of course no Republicans in the House voted for this bill today — we’ll see how the Senate does next week. But some Republicans, knowing the bill would ultimately pass, eagerly shoved into it their own earmarks.
Here are just a few examples:
- Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) U of Louisville: $8.56 million
- Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) Oyster Rehabilitation: $800K
- Rep. Adam Putnam (R-FL) Conserving Fish/Wildlife: $1 million
- Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) Soybean Research: $690K
This conduct is exactly what’s wrong with Congress. Appropriations that wouldn’t withstand the smell test on their own get hidden within a regular appropriations bill that “must” pass in order to fund things like veterans programs.
The hypocritical Representatives and Senators who vote against this bill while ensuring it provides their district’s bacon must be held accountable. This sort of behavior is expected out of Democrats, but our Republican lawmakers should know better — and if not, they need to go.
Cross posted at The Daily Dose.