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Update: Pork and retreat passesPork & the war spending bill:Dogging the Blue Dogs…and serving up defeat

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By Michelle Malkin  •  March 23, 2007 01:30 PM

Bumped to the top:

Update: Bush vows veto.

Update: Bill passes, 218-212 in the House. Here’s the roll call.

Update:

Rep. Mike Pence quips:

“Here are some examples of what the Democrats consider ‘urgent’ needs that require ‘prompt action: ‘

— $25 million for payments to spinach producers
— $120 million to the shrimp industry
— $74 million for peanut storage
— $5 million for shellfish, oyster and clam producers

“Spinach, shrimp, peanuts and shellfish? That’s not a war funding bill, that’s the salad bar at Denny’s.”

***

11:28am Eastern

The Club for Growth puts the heat on freshmen Blue Dog Democrats:

* Nancy Boyda (KS-2): Nancy Boyda recently came out in support of the pork-stuffed Iraq supplemental bill, but her campaign website told a different story. Running against Republican Jim Ryun, she wrote “Congress must never waste a single taxpayer dime on needless spending…Wasteful spending has increased exponentially in recent years.” Does Nancy Boyda think $75 million for peanut storage is not a waste of taxpayer dollars?

* Heath Schuler (NC-11): In his race to unseat Republican Representative Charles Taylor, the former football player attacked the incumbent Republican for his “irresponsible” earmarks (Wall Street Journal, 10/11/06) and said that “the people of North Carolina deserve better” (US Fed News Service, 10/11/06). We hope he remembers those words when it comes time to vote on the Iraq spending bill.

* Nick Lampson (TX-22): Nick Lampson campaigned on fiscal responsibility and took a harsh stand against congressional pork on his campaign website: “We have terrible waste in our government that can be addressed right now. We shouldn’t be spending on pork projects like bridges to nowhere in Alaska and a tea pot museum in North Carolina. We must set priorities and stick to them.” By that standard, Rep. Lampson should cast a “no” vote on the Iraq war spending bill.

* Tim Mahoney (FL-22): According to his campaign website, Rep. Tim Mahoney campaigned on wide-sweeping ethics reform that included a platform to “Cut the Pork.” Interestingly, the supplemental bill includes money for citrus growers in Rep. Mahoney’s district. Could that possibly have something to do with Tim Mahoney’s support for the Iraq supplemental bill?

* Harry Mitchell (AZ-5): Rep. Mitchell beat the fiscal responsibility drum on his campaign website: “Unfortunately, fiscal irresponsibility and pork-barrel spending has Washington swimming in red ink . . . In Congress, I will promote fiscal policy that is both responsible and accountable, just as I did at the local level.” Now that his own Democratic leadership is the one doing the drowning, will Rep. Mitchell have the courage to just say no?

Meanwhile, Citizens Against Government Waste puts pressure on Congress to keep the pork out of the emergency spending bill. Below is a list of the most egregious and irrelevant special-interest goodies in the Senate supplemental:

$1.5 billion to the Army Corps of Engineers for recovery along the coast, including funding for Hawaii for an April 2006 flood;

$850 million for Department of Homeland Security grants ($625M for rail/transit grants, $190M for port security grants, and $35M for urban area security grants);

$660 million for the procurement of an explosives detection system for the Transportation Security Administration;

$640 million for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program;

$425 million for education grants for rural areas;

$388.9 million for a backlog of Department of Transportation projects;

$165.9 million (including $60.4 million for salmon fisheries in the Klamath Basin region) for fisheries disaster relief;

$75 million for salaries and expenses for the Farm Service Agency;

$48 million in disaster construction money for NASA;

$25 million for grants through the Safe and Drug Free Schools program;

$25 million for asbestos abatement at the Capitol Power Plant;

$24 million to sugar beet producers;

$22.8 million for geothermal research and development;

$20 million for reimbursements to Nevada for “insect damage;”

$12 million for Forest Service money requested by the president in the non-emergency FY2008 budget

$3.5 million for guided tours of the Capitol;

$3 million for sugar cane; and

Allows the transfer of funds from holiday ornament sales in the Senate gift shop.

And in the House version:

$500 million for emergency wildfires suppression; the Forest Service currently has $831 million for this purpose;

$400 million for rural schools;

$283 million for the Milk Income Loss Contract program;

$120 million to compensate for the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the shrimp and menhaden fishing industries;

$100 million for citrus assistance;

$74 million for peanut storage costs;

$60.4 million for salmon fisheries in the Klamath River region in California and Oregon;

$50 million for asbestos mitigation at the U.S. Capitol Plant;

$48 million in salaries and expenses for the Farm Service Agency;

$35 million for NASA risk mitigation projects in Gulf Coast;

$25 million for spinach growers;

$25 million for livestock;

$20 million for Emergency Conservation Program for farmland damaged by freezing temperatures;

$16 million for security upgrades to House of Representatives office buildings;

$10 million for the International Boundary and Water Commission for the Rio Grande Flood Control System Rehabilitation project;

$6.4 million for House of Representative’s Salaries and Expenses Account for business continuity and disaster recovery expenses;

$5 million for losses suffered by aquaculture businesses including breeding, rearing, or transporting live fish as a result of viral hemorrhagic septicemia;

$4 million for the Office of Women’s Health at the Food and Drug Administration; and

A minimum wage increase, which is the subject of separate legislation.

Instapundit and Porkbusters have more. John Boehner weighs in at The Examiner.

The Washington Post editorializes:

The Democrats claim to have a mandate from voters to reverse the Bush administration’s policy in Iraq. Yet the leadership is ready to piece together the votes necessary to force a fateful turn in the war by using tactics usually dedicated to highway bills or the Army Corps of Engineers budget.

The Dems have a “pep rally:”

House Democrats voiced confidence Friday that they had enough support to approve Congress’ boldest challenge yet to
President Bush’s Iraq policy, a bill ordering combat troops to leave the country before the fall of 2008.

After days of lobbying by party leaders, chances of passage increased after many liberal opponents of the bill — who had said that it did not go far enough to end the war immediately — announced they would not stand in its way.

The $124 billion bill would finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but require combat troops to return home before September 2008, possibly sooner, if the Iraqi government does not meet certain requirements.

“Today, we are demanding accountability,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

Confident they had the votes to win, Democrats celebrated in a closed-door meeting in advance of the debate. Some described it as resembling a pep rally.

“I would call it the coming together of conscience, conviction and caucus,” said Rep. John Larson, D-Conn.

Power Line spotlights Pork and Defeat. John Hinderaker writes: “If the Democrats were willing to fight as hard for victory as they are fighting for defeat, the country would be much better off.”

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