Key Senators To Call On The Stimulus (Updated Pork List)(Update 2/9)(Update 2/10)

UPDATE (2/10): I’ve updated the pork list (still not a full list).  The bill also contains provisions for the nationalization of health care (click the link).  The bill is in conference committee and will become more expensive before the final vote is taken.  Continue contacting the three Senators as well as your own Representative and Senator.

UPDATE (2/9):  Down to three Senators.  I’ve added their fax numbers.  Contact them today! If you have already contacted them, do so again.  Be firm.  Even better:  Reid is making sure that illegal immigrants will have access to your tax dollars in the bill.

First, here are four key Senators to, politely, call and ask to oppose the stimulus bill (including support a filibuster, if necessary):

Collins (202) 224-2523 (email) Fax: (202) 224-2693
Snowe (202) 224-5344 (email) Fax: (202) 224-1946
Voinovich (202) 224-3353 (email)
Specter (202) 224-4254 (email) Fax: (202) 228-1229

I have included the email links as the phone can be tough to get through.  Keep trying and keep calling.

A new updated (not comprehensive) pork list:

  • $2 billion earmark for FutureGen near zero emissions powerplant in Mattoon, IL
  • $39 billion slush fund for “state fiscal stabilization” bailout
  • $5.5 billion for making federal buildings “green” (including $448 million for DHS HQ)
  • $200 million for workplace safety in USDA facilities
  • $275 million for flood prevention
  • $65 million for watershed rehabilitation
  • $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges and libraries
  • $650 million for the DTV transition coupon program
  • $307 million for constructing NIST office buildings
  • $1 billion for administrative costs and construction of NOAA office buildings
  • $100 million for constructing U.S. Marshalls office buildings
  • $300 million for constructing FBI office buildings
  • $800 million for constructing Federal Prison System buildings and facilities
  • $10 million to fight Mexican gunrunners
  • $1.3 billion for NASA (including $450 million for “science” at NASA)
  • $100 million to clean up sites used in early U.S. atomic energy program
  • $10 million for urban canals
  • $2 billion for manufacturing advanced batteries for hybrid cars
  • $1.5 billion for carbon capture projects under sec. 703 of P.L. 110-140 (though section only authorizes $1 billion for five years)
  • $300 million for hybrid and electric cars for federal employees
  • $198 million to design and furnish the DHS headquarters
  • $255 million for “priority procurements” at Coast Guard (polar ice breaker)
  • $500 million for State and local fire stations
  • $180 million for construction of Bureau of Land Management facilities
  • $500 million for wildland fire management
  • $110 million for construction for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • $522 million for construction for the Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • $650 million for abandoned mine sites
  • $75 million for the Smithsonian Institution
  • $1.2 billion for summer jobs for youth
  • $412 million for CDC headquarters
  • $500 million earmark for NIH facilities in Bethesda, MD
  • $160 million for “volunteers” at the Corp. for National and Community Service
  • $750 earmark for the National Computer Center in MD
  • $224 million for International Boundary and Water Commission – U.S. and Mexico
  • $850 million for Amtrak
  • $100 million for lead paint hazard reduction

Here is the [old] pork list I found (note: if you click the link look at this update to the headline):

• $83 billion in welfare payments
• $81 billion for Medicaid
• $66 billion on “education”, more than the entire Department of Education required just ten years ago
• $36 billion for expanded unemployment benefits
• $20 billion for food stamps
• $8 billion on “renewable energy” projects, which have a low or negative return
• $7 billion for “modernizing federal buildings and facilities”
• $6 billion on urban transit systems, dominated by unions and which, almost universally, lose money
• $2.4 billion for “carbon-capture demonstration projects”
• $2 billion for child-care subsidies
• $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that’s run in the red for 40 years
• $650 million for “digital TV conversion coupons” (on top of billions already spent)
• $600 million on new cars for government (added to the $3 billion already spent each year)
• $400 million for “global-warming research”
• $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts

There are still other pork projects being discovered including $250 million for Hollywood that was taken out, once exposed.  However, if the Senate passes its version then a select group of House and Senate members go into a conference committee to align the two bills.  In the past, it has served as another means to dish out pork by slipping it into the bill in conference committee without a full House/Senate vote.  I would expect the same here and we may see Hollywoods pork and the STD pork back in under different names.

Even the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is warning on the negative impacts of this bill, stating it will “…actually leading to a lower Gross Domestic Product over the next 10 years than if the government had done nothing.”   We should also not forget the fact that we may see a, separate bank bailout (TARP II) and student loan problems still loom on the horizon.

Finally a couple of videos.  South Carolina Governor Sanford is strongly opposed to the “spendulus” bill and has an excellent discussion of the issue here with a reporter.  Fortunately, to end on a funner note, Mary Katherine Ham has a lighter look on this:

Quick update: NRO also has a good article of the stuff they’ve found in the bill.

UPDATE:  I forgot that Suitably Flip has an excellent comparison on the cost of the bill compared to historical costs and Ed Morrisey provides good commentary as well.

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7 thoughts on “Key Senators To Call On The Stimulus (Updated Pork List)(Update 2/9)(Update 2/10)

  1. Your “pork” list consists entirely of programs that create or save jobs and help people get back on their feet. Climate change research just might help save civilization, too.

    So, $1 trillion+ for a totally unnecessary and counterproductive invasion and occupation of Iraq, that’s OK. And $700 billion to bail out Wall Street billionaires, Republicans had no qualms voting for that. But anything to save the real economy from going into another Great Depression, well, that’s just “pork.”

  2. Food stamps and converter box coupons do nothing to stimulate or create sustainable jobs. Nor does helping out minuscule sectors of the economy (such as the carbon capture “industry”). A stimulus should be geared to boost productivity, in general, not just those who curry the most political favor. Most of the above are only going to government and not to actually stimulate business where job creation and retention occurs. The depression wasn’t helped by government jobs and that intervention extended the length of the depression – ultimately it was business that ramped up to meet war time production needs of WWII that got us out of it. The government programs did not help. There is also the component of the inflationary pressures placed on the economy by the vastly increased government spending.

    If you want to “save the planet” by funding the very small ‘global warming’ interest sector, do it with a separate bill rather than trying to pawn it off a stimulus.

    Finally, careful on your figures. I believe that is a projected figure which includes the normal cost of the armed forces during that time regardless of their deployment. It is also noteworthy that conservatives strongly opposed the bailout (self included – I blogged about it too). Many Republicans voted against it, but not enough and those who did will, hopefully, feel the repercussions of their actions (I hope to say the same for the Democrats who where its biggest supporters. Additionally, keep in mind that conservative no longer equates to Republican.

    Edit: Also worth noting that even if the 1 trillion figure were accurate, it would’ve taken almost 6 years to reach that point vs a single expenditure as this bill would entail (on top of TARP I and, possibly, TARP II).

  3. FYI, the Congressional Budget Office projects the cost of the Iraq invasion and occupation at more than $1 trillion. To be exact, they said $1 trillion to $2 trillion by 2017– depending on how fast we withdraw.

    Of course, we’re comparing apples and oranges. The money wasted to invade and occupy Iraq created a foreign policy and economic catastrophe. The overall figures are stunning: 4.5 million displaced, 1-2 million widows, 5 million orphans, about 1 million dead–in one way or another.

    In contrast, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is going to fund long-delayed infrastructure projects and neglected priorities than were ignored by Republicans when they were in power. This is about cleaning up the wreckage from the Bush administration, and putting some of the 11.6 million unemployed Americans back to work. Big difference. Also, whatever the total Congress authorizes for economic recovery, it’s just an authorization. The appropriations will be doled out over a period of years. We can’t rebuild the economy in one year.

    This is just part of what needs to be done. There will also be more congressional action to save homeowners and re-regulate the financial system, etc.

  4. As I stated your figures are projections and not current spending and put forward by a single source economist who was already critical of the war. The so called stimulus is current spending (or will be). Such massive debt measures had deleterious effects in the past (Japan also serves as a good example where they named the time “The Lost Decade” – many points in the article should ring familiar). It can also not be forgotten that once something is built, you end up with the ongoing costs of maintenance and operations, again strapped onto future generations.

    A large portion of the stimulus has little to do with infrastructure and more to do with special interest groups (and government agency, rather than market expanssion). I also find it somewhat humorous that you blame Republicans for infrastructure delays. I-15 was expanded and a plethora of other projects were completed here and elsewhere. Geez, it was their spending on governmental stuff that got them in trouble with their base (especially on projects that should have been left to local and state entities). There is no national infrastructure crisis, that is just a manufactured reasoning for strapping the next generations with huge debt for our current pleasure.

    There are far better, real, and sustainable ways to put Americans back to work. The current plan would just shove them on the government dole at between $200,000 to $600,000 a job according to the CBO. The CBO also notes that the huge debt burden will lead to another contraction in GDP. Then I, suppose, we just add more debt and repeat the process with another spending bill.

    Ultimately, the trigger that got us into this mess was the sub-prime mess in housing which should never have been allowed to occur. Key Senators pursued that unsustainable policy and protected it when it was challenged (albeit, ineffectively). The solution isn’t just more, unsustainable debt as noted by the CBO.

  5. Pingback: Stimulating Pork: The Stimulus Package And TARP II Warning (Update)(Update: House Vote) « Utah Rattler

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