July 21, 2024
$9M to quarantine fruit flies? Anti-government waste group exposes billions in pork-barrel spending
The group also ripped the seven earmarks totaling $1.8 billion for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, including eight Air Force planes, six Navy planes and two for the Marine Corps.
The group also ripped the seven earmarks totaling $1.8 billion for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, including eight Air Force planes, six Navy planes and two for the Marine Corps.

An anti-government waste group has identified millions of taxpayer dollars allegedly frittered away on “absurd nature-related earmarks,” including $9 million to “quarantine fruit flies” and $13.8 million to “manage wild horses.”

Those revelations are inside the 2019 Congressional Pig Book released Wednesday by Citizens Against Government Waste. That report identifies what it describes as egregious examples of pork-barrel spending in Congress, drawn from fiscal 2019 appropriations bills. This year, the group said it identified $15.3 billion in earmarks, an increase of 4.1 percent from the $14.7 billion last year.

“Pushing pork does not drain the swamp and it won’t restore integrity to Washington,” Tom Schatz, the president of Citizens Against Government Waste, said in a statement.

Schatz wrote in an op-ed for Fox Business Network that “perhaps the most flagrant earmark” this year is $16.7 million for a research organization called the East-West Center, added by Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii.

“His earmark represents the center’s entire budget, keeping it alive even though its counterpart, the North-South Center, stopped receiving federal funding in 2001,” the group’s president said. “The East-West Center should be able to stand on its own without taxpayer support as well.”

The report identifies other pricey earmarks, including $65 million to help recover Pacific Coastal Salmon, $12 million to control aquatic plants, $7.9 million to purchase fish screens and $863,000 to eradicate brown tree snakes in Guam.

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