House FY 2008 Defense Budget Earmarks: Excerpts

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Earmarks involve designating funds in spending legislation that must be used for a very particular purpose. While they can be a useful tool, they can also be a magnet for shady dealings and last-minute surprises. Indicted Naval ace and former Congressman Randy Cunningham’s activities revolved around earmarks, for instance; so, too, did the recent scandal that revolves around Congressman Jack Murtha. Analysts from a watchdog group called Taxpayers for Common Sense claim that 30% of the FY 2005-2006’s $64 billion in earmarks were connected with the Department of Defense. This is possible; past US national defense budgets have included everything from renovations to Washington’s baseball stadium (based on the standings, a donation to hire players might have been better), to Utah watershed conservation, to the initial funding that got the famous Predator drones going. As it happens, new House of Congress rules passed in January 2007 provide more transparency into the sponsors, recipients, and purposes of earmarks. A May 23, 2007 TCS release mines some of that data from the FY 2008 National Defense Authorization Act passed by the House last week, and presents highlights. All items in the TCS release have been included below, verbatim: more complete earmark database […]

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