About 4,000 earmarks worth up to $10 billion slipped into $1.5T spending bill: GOP senator
More than 140 earmarks are linked to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, according to Indiana Sen. Mike Braun.
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There were about 4,000 earmarks worth between $8-$10 billion slipped inside the $1.5 trillion spending bill Congress passed, according to Republican lawmakers.
Indiana Republican Sen. Mike Braun's office compiled a 367-page document detailing the earmarks that were tucked into the bill that passed on Thursday night less than 48 hours after it was released publicly.
Among the projects on the list, there were 142 earmarks linked to Senate Majority Leader Schumer, Braun said.
On Twitter, Braun highlighted the earmark requested by New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman totaling $496,000 for "Promoting Health Equity and Affordable Swim Access through Yonkers YMCA Pool Improvements."
New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez posted on social media about winning millions of dollars for community projects in her district, including housing access and workforce development programs. The title of her post was, "Rep. AOC just won millions for community projects in NY-14."
New York Rep. Brian Higgins scored $8.2 million in earmarks for Buffalo including $575,000 for a "green infrastructure workforce development initiative at the Buffalo Sewer Authority."
Syracuse also benefitted from earmarks in the bill for a homeless shelter and police body cameras.
Georgia Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, who is running for reelection, is linked to 39 earmarks. The projects tied to Warnock and fellow Georgia Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff are worth about $157 million.
According to a report, Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly from the battleground state of Arizona, was able to lock in federal funding for more than 40 projects for his state in the spending bill.
According to the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, Nevada Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Nevada Democrat Rep. Jacky Rosen "sponsored a $12 million appropriation for the Nevada Cares Campus in Washoe County, a shelter for people experiencing homelessness."
West Virginia, which Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin represents, stood to benefit from about $166 million of earmarks, including money for the Canaan Valley waste water system improvement project.
The Richmond Times Dispatch reported that Virginia Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine secured $5 million for "rehabilitating the deteriorating Mayo Bridge across the James River in downtown Richmond; nearly $4 million for a new federal inspection service facility at Richmond International Airport and $2 million for construction of the southern portion of the new Fall Line Trail in Petersburg and through Virginia State University in Ettrick."
Wyoming Republican Sen. Cynthia Lummis criticized lawmakers for adding so many earmarks to the spending bill.
"You almost have to have a looking glass to see what it says here, 4,000 earmarks after we've gotten away from this," Lummis said. "I'm sympathetic to the argument that earmarks are a more direct way of addressing problems around the country, but historically they've been used as a way for leadership to whip votes on bad legislation and a way to fund unnecessary pet projects to curry favor back home."
Earmarks were eliminated in 2011, but Congress brought them back last year. Republicans benefited from the return of the earmarks process too, according to the projects on Braun's list.
Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski's name was mentioned next to over 50 pork projects on Braun's list, including educational facility renovations at the Sitka Sound Science Center.
Among the earmarks linked to Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jerry Moran was $3 million for "updates to the Kansas Incident Based Reporting System."
Braun attempted to remove the earmarks from the bill with an amendment to the legislation, but it was not adopted.
Braun criticized congressional leaders for passing spending bills that continue to increase the deficit.
"You'd think after all this money we spent, all of which we borrowed, that you would not need earmarks," Braun told Just the News. "To have the symbolism that this place is even worse than not doing budgets, not bringing in your appropriators to have some say in what's spent, record levels of spending on defense and domestic spending that we still should run through a budget — none of that work was done. That's why the place is going to run close to a $1.5 trillion deficit, pile that on to our $30 trillion we're already in debt. Look out, future generations."
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