Archive for the ‘Pork’ Category

CBS News Video: Coburn On USDA Conferences

May 27, 2008

Sen. Coburn is interviewed by CBS News on the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s wasteful spending. He is particularly critical of the conferences USDA officials have been attending lately. He lists for example, officials attending Crayfish conferences in Australia, and trips to Hawaii to study the U.S. Congress.

‘Stimulus’ is code for more bad spending

January 9, 2008

By Ernest Istook

When is $20 billion in pork-barrel spending not enough?

Answer: When “preventing a recession” becomes an excuse for Congress to spend more.

They just gave us a 3,417-page “omnibus” bill, finishing the year with 11,000 special projects earmarks ($20 billion worth!) last year. Now they have a new excuse to add more: economic stimulus.

But one person’s shot in the arm is somebody else’s fear of needles. Even good ideas can be hijacked, and in Washington they usually are.

If President Bush’s State of the Union address opens the door by proposing a stimulus package, then every special interest in Washington will push their pet cause in the name of boosting the economy.

It will be a rerun of 2001 when Congress eventually approved a rebate of up to $300 for every taxpayer. Most Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, opposed it for two reasons: First, because the bill contained permanent tax-rate reductions, including capital gains. Second, because the $300 rebate only went to actual taxpayers. Pelosi and friends wanted to send a $300 government check to everyone, regardless of age and regardless of whether they’d paid taxes or not.

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Coburn Seeks Probe of Coconut Road Earmark, May Opt to Hold Up Legislation

December 19, 2007

By Susan Crabtree

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is threatening to withhold support for legislation making technical corrections to the 2005 highway bill if it does not require a “full and open” investigation into the now-notorious Coconut Road earmark.

Coburn wrote a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Tuesday informing him that he would object to any effort to “hotline” the technical corrections bill if it did not include language calling for the appointment of a select committee to probe an unorthodox change to an earmark made after both chambers passed the highway bill but before it reached President Bush’s desk. Read more…

Related: Controversial Earmark From Two Years Ago Rears Its Head Again in Congress The GOP Should Stand Behind Senator Tom Coburn

Quote Of The Day

December 18, 2007

“President Bush was wise to challenge Congress to scale back what has become known as the ‘earmark favor factory’ in Washington. Special interest earmarks divert billions of dollars from higher priority needs and undermine public confidence in Congress, which is at an all-time low. President Bush should veto this bloated spending bill and force members of Congress to sacrifice some of their pet projects for higher priorities. For instance, few Americans would support spending $213,000 for olive fruit fly research in France ahead of spending that same sum to support our troops, repair dangerous bridges or provide health care for kids,” Read more...

Federal Spending Site Launched,Thank You Tom Coburn

December 14, 2007

This is a win for every Oklahoman and American. With leaders like Senator Tom Coburn leading the charge against pork barrel spending, maybe we can get our country on track.

Sen. Tom Coburn and the Office of Management and Budget this morning announced the launch of a new government website that will provide Americans with easier access to federal spending data.

“This is a website that will ensure our liberty, because it will give us more transparency,” Coburn said at a press conference to announce the launch of the site, which he fought for in the Senate along with Barack Obama. “An informed public is a free public, and a public that can hold us all accountable.”

Coburn said that bloggers were the “key group” who helped spearhead this effort, and he said he hopes now that it is operational they will use the site ( to expose Congress. “I think this is going to be a wildfire,” he said.

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The Buck Stops Here

December 11, 2007

by Ryan Grim – The Politico

A typical bill moving through the Senate has a number of institutional hurdles to clear: subcommittee, committee, leadership and Coburn. It’s that last one that you won’t find in a textbook.

Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, has long been known as the Senate’s gadfly, crusading against wasteful government spending. In the last year, however, this gadfly has gone through a metamorphosis and is now more of a scorpion: If you’re not careful, he’ll kill your bill.

For that reason, Senate aides on both sides of the aisle now take legislation directly to Coburn’s office before moving forward to make sure he has no objections — whether he’s on the relevant committee or not. If he does, they often swallow their pride and make the changes he’s asking for.

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Single Senator Blocking Cold-Case Bill

December 10, 2007

We have always applauded Sen. Coburn for his aggressive exposure of pork spending in the federal government. It is admirable that there are still a few politicians willing to stand up to the special interests. But in this case, Sen. Coburn will lose the public relations battle in his principled war against wasteful spending. In this age of hyper political correctness, questioning spending that pertains to investigations of murder cases from the civil rights era, is a definite no win situation.

by Jerry Mitchell

One U.S. senator is holding up legislation that would create a cold-cases unit to track down unpunished killers from the civil rights era.

“The idea that one senator can hold up important legislation like this is outrageous,” said Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery. “It is incredible to me that our government can be held up at the whim of one man.”

Despite support from the Bush administration, the Justice Department, the House, which passed Bill 422-2, and most senators – including Mississippi’s Thad Cochran and Trent Lott – U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, put a hold on the legislation, effectively killing it on the Senate side.

He said he objects to the legislation because of its price tag of $13.5 million a year, believing only $1.6 million is needed. His Web site contains links labeled “Stop Secret Spending” and “Pork Busters.”

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Related: One Man Stands In The Way of Lynching Bill

Emmitt Till Blog: One Senator Blocks Emmett Till Cold Case Bill

Taxpayers Go Trick Or Treating

October 31, 2007

Much scarier than the prospect of being haunted by the undead is the prospect of being spooked by a record $8.6 trillion national debt. In the Halloween spirit, Citizens Against Government Waste provides a list of who deserves taxpayer tricks and treats.

Treat: To Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and the grassroots Internet campaign that unmasked Sens. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) as the secret holders who had been preventing the consideration of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (S. 2590). The bipartisan legislation, signed into law by the President, requires the Office of Management and Budget to create a public website listing the individuals and groups receiving federal grants and contracts.

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CCAGW: Sen. Coburn Rocks; Rolls Million Dollar Earmark Out Of Spending Bill

October 22, 2007

WASHINGTON -The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) today celebrated Sen. Tom Coburns (R-Okla.) successful removal of a $1 million wasteful earmark in H.R. 3043, the fiscal 2008 Labor-HHS-Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.

Sen. Coburns amendment eliminated $1 million targeted to the Bethel Performing Arts Center Museum in New York, which includes a tribute to the 1969 Woodstock Festival, and transferred it to the Maternal and Child Health block grant program. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), a sponsor of the earmark along with Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), attempted to table or kill the amendment, but was rebuffed 52-42. The amendment was then passed on a voice vote.

Sen. Coburn said in a statement, Im pleased my colleagues took a bold stand today in defense of common sense and rejected the self-interested parochial politics that have disillusioned millions of Americans. Maybe this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius for taxpayers.

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Related: Keeping A Place At The Trough

Smoke On This Hippies!!

October 19, 2007

by Andrew Roth

Congrats to Senators Tom Coburn and Jon Kyl who offered an amendment today to defund the $1 million earmark to the Woodstock Museum in New York. The Senate just accepted the amendment, 52-42.

Actually, that Woodstock guy — billionaire Alan Gerry — is scheduled to be on CNBC’s Squawk Box tomorrow morning to debate Senator Tom Coburn on this wasteful pork project. Should be interesting.

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