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Re: [govtrack] the earmark challenge

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  • Aron Pilhofer
    If I didn t know better, I d say it s as if they didn t want you to know where the money is going.
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 23, 2006
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      If I didn't know better, I'd say it's as if they didn't want you to know
      where the money is going.

      Chris Kinnan wrote:
      >
      > A staffer on Capitol Hill forwarded this, it speaks to the challenge
      > we face in forcing disclosure and uncovering corruption in
      > the Congressional spending process. Thought it would interest folks.
      > And, Happy Thanksgiving!
      > ---
      > Here is just one example of the trickery that goes into hiding
      > earmarks in appropriations bills and the hours of detective work
      > necessary to find basic information about how tax dollars are being
      > spent by Congress:
      >
      > The Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 Agriculture Appropriations bill contains a
      > $2,009,878 earmark for a "seafood waste" project in Fairbanks, Alaska.
      >
      > Neither the bill nor its accompanying report contains a description of
      > the purpose of this project, its intended goals or the actual amount
      > of the earmark.
      >
      > The purpose and actual amount of this earmark is a "hide and seek"
      > exercise that requires extensive detective work.
      >
      > The earmark is contained within a list of "Program Continuations" in
      > the bill report, which states "the Committee directs the Agricultural
      > Research Service to continue to fund the following areas of research
      > in fiscal year 2007 at the same funding level recommended in fiscal
      > year 2006."
      >
      > The FY 2006 Agriculture appropriations conference report states that
      > "The conference agreement includes increased funding in fiscal year
      > 2006 to expand" the seafood waste earmark project by $75,000. The
      > report again does not state what the purpose of the research is or
      > what the total amount of the earmark is.
      >
      > The Joint Explanatory Statement for the FY 2005 Consolidated
      > Appropriations Act published in the Congressional Record states a
      > "further increase" is provided for "Seafood Waste, Fairbanks, AK (U of
      > AK), $160,000 (of which $50,000 goes to the State of Alaska)."[1]
      > Again, the actual amount and purpose are not provided.
      >
      > Going back a year earlier, a "further increase" of $180,000 is
      > provided for "Seafood Waste, Fairbanks, AK (U of AK)" in the FY 2004
      > Consolidated Omnibus Appropriations bill.[2]
      >
      > The FY 2003 Consolidated appropriations bill report states,"The
      > conferees have agreed to increased funding for… Seafood Waste,
      > Fairbanks, AK" by $200,000.[3]
      >
      > The term "seafood waste" does not appear in the FY 2002 Agriculture
      > appropriations conference report. The conference report does,
      > however, state:
      >
      > "The statement of the managers remains silent on provisions that were
      > in both the House and Senate bills that remain unchanged by this
      > conference agreement, except as noted in this statement of the
      > managers. … The House and Senate report language that is not changed
      > by the conference is approved by the committee of conference. The
      > statement of the managers, while repeating some report language for
      > emphasis, does not intend to negate the language referred to above
      > unless expressly provided herein."[4]
      >
      > There is no reference to "seafood waste" in the report for the FY 2002
      > House-passed Agriculture appropriations bill.
      >
      > The FY 2002 Senate Agriculture appropriations bill, however, states:
      >
      > "Seafood waste- While seafood is attractive now as an alternate food
      > source, the disposal of seafood waste continues to be a national and
      > international problem. Discarded fish waste and its other uses could
      > potentially provide an additional source of revenue for seafood
      > processors. The Committee provides an increase of $900,000 for fiscal
      > year 2002 for ARS to develop a program with the University of Alaska
      > on feedstuffs generated from materials usually wasted during
      > processing of seafoods."[5]
      >
      > There is no reference to "seafood waste" in the FY 2001 Agriculture
      > appropriations bills or reports passed by both the House and Senate.
      >
      > Anyone interested in knowing the purpose of this earmark would have to
      > search back through five years of appropriations bills. Finding the
      > amount of the earmark is even more complicated since the base amount
      > is never provided, only the amount that the project is to increase
      > each year.
      >
      >
      > A clerk from the Senate Appropriations Committee disclosed that the
      > actual amount that the Alaska "seafood waste" earmark is to receive
      > under the FY 2007 Agriculture appropriations bill is $2,009,878.
      >
      >
      >
      > [1] CONGRESSIONAL RECORD—HOUSE, November 19, 2004, H10413.
      >
      > [2] CONGRESSIONAL RECORD—HOUSE, November 25, 2003, H12448.
      >
      > [3] "MAKING FURTHER CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR
      > 2003, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES CONFERENCE REPORT TO ACCOMPANY H.J. Res.
      > 2," House Report 108-10, Page 556.
      >
      > [4] "MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR AGRICULTURE, RURAL DEVELOPMENT, FOOD
      > AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES PROGRAMS FOR THE FISCAL
      > YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2002, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," House Report
      > 107-275, page 47.
      >
      > [5] Senate Report 107-41 to accompany S. 1191, page 35.
      >
      >
      >
    • TML
      hehe...gee, d ya think?
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 23, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        hehe...gee, d'ya think?



        On Nov 23, 2006, at 07:42, Aron Pilhofer wrote:

        > If I didn't know better, I'd say it's as if they didn't want you to
        > know
        > where the money is going.
        >
        > Chris Kinnan wrote:
        >>
        >> A staffer on Capitol Hill forwarded this, it speaks to the challenge
        >> we face in forcing disclosure and uncovering corruption in
        >> the Congressional spending process. Thought it would interest folks.
        >> And, Happy Thanksgiving!
        >> ---
        >> Here is just one example of the trickery that goes into hiding
        >> earmarks in appropriations bills and the hours of detective work
        >> necessary to find basic information about how tax dollars are being
        >> spent by Congress:
        >>
        >> The Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 Agriculture Appropriations bill contains a
        >> $2,009,878 earmark for a "seafood waste" project in Fairbanks,
        >> Alaska.
        >>
        >> Neither the bill nor its accompanying report contains a
        >> description of
        >> the purpose of this project, its intended goals or the actual amount
        >> of the earmark.
        >>
        >> The purpose and actual amount of this earmark is a "hide and seek"
        >> exercise that requires extensive detective work.
        >>
        >> The earmark is contained within a list of "Program Continuations" in
        >> the bill report, which states "the Committee directs the Agricultural
        >> Research Service to continue to fund the following areas of research
        >> in fiscal year 2007 at the same funding level recommended in fiscal
        >> year 2006."
        >>
        >> The FY 2006 Agriculture appropriations conference report states that
        >> "The conference agreement includes increased funding in fiscal year
        >> 2006 to expand" the seafood waste earmark project by $75,000. The
        >> report again does not state what the purpose of the research is or
        >> what the total amount of the earmark is.
        >>
        >> The Joint Explanatory Statement for the FY 2005 Consolidated
        >> Appropriations Act published in the Congressional Record states a
        >> "further increase" is provided for "Seafood Waste, Fairbanks, AK
        >> (U of
        >> AK), $160,000 (of which $50,000 goes to the State of Alaska)."[1]
        >> Again, the actual amount and purpose are not provided.
        >>
        >> Going back a year earlier, a "further increase" of $180,000 is
        >> provided for "Seafood Waste, Fairbanks, AK (U of AK)" in the FY 2004
        >> Consolidated Omnibus Appropriations bill.[2]
        >>
        >> The FY 2003 Consolidated appropriations bill report states,"The
        >> conferees have agreed to increased funding for… Seafood Waste,
        >> Fairbanks, AK" by $200,000.[3]
        >>
        >> The term "seafood waste" does not appear in the FY 2002 Agriculture
        >> appropriations conference report. The conference report does,
        >> however, state:
        >>
        >> "The statement of the managers remains silent on provisions that were
        >> in both the House and Senate bills that remain unchanged by this
        >> conference agreement, except as noted in this statement of the
        >> managers. … The House and Senate report language that is not changed
        >> by the conference is approved by the committee of conference. The
        >> statement of the managers, while repeating some report language for
        >> emphasis, does not intend to negate the language referred to above
        >> unless expressly provided herein."[4]
        >>
        >> There is no reference to "seafood waste" in the report for the FY
        >> 2002
        >> House-passed Agriculture appropriations bill.
        >>
        >> The FY 2002 Senate Agriculture appropriations bill, however, states:
        >>
        >> "Seafood waste- While seafood is attractive now as an alternate food
        >> source, the disposal of seafood waste continues to be a national and
        >> international problem. Discarded fish waste and its other uses could
        >> potentially provide an additional source of revenue for seafood
        >> processors. The Committee provides an increase of $900,000 for fiscal
        >> year 2002 for ARS to develop a program with the University of Alaska
        >> on feedstuffs generated from materials usually wasted during
        >> processing of seafoods."[5]
        >>
        >> There is no reference to "seafood waste" in the FY 2001 Agriculture
        >> appropriations bills or reports passed by both the House and Senate.
        >>
        >> Anyone interested in knowing the purpose of this earmark would
        >> have to
        >> search back through five years of appropriations bills. Finding the
        >> amount of the earmark is even more complicated since the base amount
        >> is never provided, only the amount that the project is to increase
        >> each year.
        >>
        >>
        >> A clerk from the Senate Appropriations Committee disclosed that the
        >> actual amount that the Alaska "seafood waste" earmark is to receive
        >> under the FY 2007 Agriculture appropriations bill is $2,009,878.
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >> [1] CONGRESSIONAL RECORD—HOUSE, November 19, 2004, H10413.
        >>
        >> [2] CONGRESSIONAL RECORD—HOUSE, November 25, 2003, H12448.
        >>
        >> [3] "MAKING FURTHER CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR
        >> 2003, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES CONFERENCE REPORT TO ACCOMPANY H.J. Res.
        >> 2," House Report 108-10, Page 556.
        >>
        >> [4] "MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR AGRICULTURE, RURAL DEVELOPMENT, FOOD
        >> AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES PROGRAMS FOR THE FISCAL
        >> YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2002, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," House Report
        >> 107-275, page 47.
        >>
        >> [5] Senate Report 107-41 to accompany S. 1191, page 35.
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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