2019 Pig Book Shows Record Increase in Pork Barrel Spending

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Posted by Cavan Hagerty on Tuesday, June 18th, 2019, 4:02 PM PERMALINK

It seems that pork is once again on the menu in the halls of Congress this year.

Earlier this month, Citizens Against Government Waste released their annual Congressional Pig Book. The book outlines some of the most obscene and outlandish examples of pork barrel spending during the current Congress.

Citizens Against Government Waste works to expose and eliminate waste, inefficiencies, and mismanagement in government. The Pig Book serves as an important tool in this work, showing how harmful pork barrel spending and earmarks can be to the legislative process.

“Earmarks are the ‘broken windows’ of government overspending, the currency of Congressional corruption, and the price of bad votes for more spending,” said ATR President Grover Norquist. “Earmarks are used to buy the votes of congressmen who would never vote for the overall package standing alone, without a bribe.”

Among the notable examples from this year’s book: $9 million for a fruit fly quarantine program, $12 million for aquatic plant control, nearly $8 million for the purchase of new fish screens, and nearly $14 million for wild horse and burro management. In total, this year’s earmarks will cost taxpayers some $15.3 billion, with very little oversight as to how this money is allocated.

In the face of such waste of taxpayer’s money, some lawmakers are finally taking a stand against the practice of earmarking. Senator Ben Sasse recently sponsored a conference motion to end the practice of earmarks in the Senate. The Senate Republican Conference adopted the motion last month. “It’s pretty simple: Earmarks are a crummy way to govern and they have no business in Congress,” said Sasse.

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