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Congressional Pork Barel

Essay by   •  December 9, 2010  •  340 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,101 Views

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Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) defines a “pork project” as a line-item in an appropriations bill that designates tax dollars for a specific purpose in circumvention of established budgetary procedures.

You can identify pork projects by seven criteria. 1) They are requested by only one chamber of Congress. 2) They are not specifically authorized. 3) They are not competitively awarded. 4) The President does not request them. 5) They greatly exceed the President’s budget request or the previous year’s funding. 6) They are not the subjects of congressional hearings. 7) They serve only a local or special interest.

Earmarking goes along with pork barreling. It is basically the designating of funds for a specific project. Many times the people who want the funds make their requests sound better than they are to try and get more money for their project. These are many times approved with the help of logrolling, which is basically trading votes.

One example of a pork project is the projects submitted by District of House appropriator Rodney Alexander and subcommittee member Mary Landrieu for the state of Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee. They received $100,327,000, which was a 56 percent increase from the previous year. It was assumed that the increase in Louisiana earmarks would have to do with Hurricane Katrina. However, the majority of the projects had nothing to do with repairing damaged levees or flood control. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the waterway’s costs will not be justified until 2046.

This specific project helps Rodney Alexander, in that; his district in Louisiana is receiving money for the projects that the people in his district want done. This will help him gain support for reelection, because he is giving the people of his district what they want.

According to CAGW, around $29 billion of federal funds goes towards

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