Taxpayers Against Earmarks, WashingtonWatch.com & Taxpayers for Common Sense Launch Comprehensive Earmark Request DatabaseWASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Three leading government transparency advocacy groups - Taxpayers Against Earmarks, WashingtonWatch.com and Taxpayers for Common Sense - today launched the first comprehensive database of more than 39,000 congressional earmark requests submitted for 2011 totaling $130 billion. The database is available online at www.endingspending.com, www.washingtonwatch.com, and www.taxpayer.net.
"Even though some members of Congress insisted that it was technologically impossible or would cost too much to create an earmark requests database, our three groups were able to build a database in less than six months for less than $100,000"
"Even though some members of Congress insisted that it was technologically impossible or would cost too much to create an earmark requests database, our three groups were able to build a database in less than six months for less than $100,000," said Stephanie Mesick, Director of Research and Outreach for Taxpayers Against Earmarks. "This database allows voters to review all earmark requests in one central place. Given the Senate's failure to follow the House of Representatives in passing an earmark moratorium, the earmark request database is needed now more than ever to hold Members' feet to the fire before their earmarks are considered and approved."
"With this database, the American people will finally be able to sift through the tens of thousands of requests seeking $130 billion," said Ryan Alexander, President of Taxpayers for Common Sense. "Lawmakers literally signed on the dotted line that these requests represented a good investment of taxpayer dollars. Now the public can investigate and see if they agree with their elected officials."
The earmark request database, a joint project of Taxpayers Against Earmarks, WashingtonWatch.com, and Taxpayers for Common Sense, lists all earmark requests made for fiscal year 2011 by each Member of Congress. This comprehensive database would help fulfill what President Obama called for in his 2010 State of the Union Address and what leading members of Congress have been trying to create for the past year. Congress is currently considering the Earmark Transparency Act (S. 3335, introduced by Sens. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and H.R. 5258, introduced by Reps. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Jackie Speier (D-CA)).
"Transparency is going to remake Washington, D.C., and earmark transparency is just the start," said Jim Harper, Webmaster of WashingtonWatch.com. "With the information we're providing the public, we're delivering control of the government back to the people." On the WashingtonWatch.com earmark page, visitors are invited to investigate and comment on earmarks for their local areas.
Summary information about the Congressional earmark requests for fiscal year 2011 follows.
Fiscal Year 2011 Congressional Earmark Requests
DATA SUMMARY & HIGHLIGHTS
Earmark Request Examples From The Database
- Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS): $1,000,000 to support infrastructure expansion along the Beach Park Promenade waterfront (City of Pascagoula, MS)
- Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND): $500,000 to support cool season legume research (recipient: University of Idaho College of Agriculture)
- Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA): $400,000 to restore the Flynn Mansion (recipient: Living History Farms)
- Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK): $1,000,000 to provide leadership training to school administrators (recipient: Tulsa Public School System, Oklahoma)
- Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN): $250,000 to purchase a back-up generator for a wastewater facility (recipient: Town of Munster, Indiana)
- Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE): $150,000 to develop and promote new and existing education programs, exhibits, trails and services (recipient: Lewis & Clark Interpretive Trail and Visitors Center Foundation)
- Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM): $188,000 to develop a media resource center to promote the cultural richness of hot air balloons (recipient: Albuquerque International Balloon Museum Foundation)
- Rep. Mark Critz (D-PA): $10,000,000 to establish the John P. Murtha Center for Public Service (recipient: John P. Murtha Foundation)
- Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX): $2.5 million to redevelop historic downtown area and to purchase trash cans, bike racks and decorative street lighting (recipient: City of Baytown, Texas)
- Rep. Don Young (R-AK): $26,000,000 to construct new addition onto existing swimming pool facility (recipient: Fort Richardson, Alaska)
House $52,754,363,975 18,431 Senate
TOP 10 SENATE (based on total $ of earmarks requested)
Landrieu, Mary (D-LA) $4,446,730,381 Wicker, Roger (R-MS)
$3,675,507,465 Brownback, Sam (R-KS)
$2,663,916,759 Menendez, Bob (D-NJ)
$2,488,903,098 Lincoln, Blanche (D-AR)
$2,460,440,057 Bingaman, Jeff (D-NM)
$2,456,909,672 Cochran, Thad (R-MS)
$2,443,498,567 Pryor, Mark (D-AR)
$2,415,483,207 Levin, Carl (D-MI)
$2,385,608,174 Specter, Arlen (D-PA)
TOP 10 SENATE (based on total # of earmarks requested)
Menendez, Bob (D-NJ) 855 Wicker, Roger (R-MS)
769 Cochran, Thad (R-MS)
712 Landrieu, Mary (D-LA)
707 Lautenberg, Frank (D-NJ)
661 Levin, Carl (D-MI)
648 Udall, Tom (D-NM)
597 Specter, Arlen (D-PA)
578 Murray, Patty (D-WA)
509 Bingaman, Jeff (D-NM)
TOP 10 HOUSE (based on total $ of earmarks requested)
Clyburn, James (D-SC-6th) $1,280,747,782 Edwards, Donna (D-MD-4th)
$956,132,708 Cleaver, Emanuel (D-MO-5th)*
$946,541,733* (see below) Kilpatrick, Carolyn (D-Ml-13th)
$837,291,023 Wasserman Schultz, Debbie (D-FL-20th)
$831,567,504 Cuellar, Henry (D-TX-28th)
$783,852,984 Jackson Lee, Sheila (D-TX-18th)
$752,495,905 Rothman, Steve (D-NJ-9th)
$707,833,401 Hastings, Alcee (D-FL-23rd)
$680,676,364 Sires, Albio (D-NJ-13th)
TOP 10 HOUSE (based on total # of earmarks requested)
Ryan, Tim (D-OH-17th) 276 Rothman, Steve (D-NJ-9th)
226 Clyburn, James (D-SC-6th)
219 Bishop, Sanford (D-GA-2nd)
218 Hinchey, Maurice (D-NY-22nd)
193 Engel, Eliot (D-NY-17th)
188 Kilpatrick, Carolyn (D-Ml-13th)
184 Brady, Robert (D-PA-1st)
180 Wasserman Schultz, Debbie (D-FL-20th)
176 Hastings, Alcee (D-FL-23rd)
TOP 5 STATES (based on total $ earmarks requested)
CA $7,229,821,498 NY
TOP 5 STATES (based on per capita $ earmarks requested)
ND $3,910.58 MS
TOP 5 STATES (based on total # earmarks requested)
NY 3128 NJ
TOTALS, By Chamber and Party
House Democrats $51,679,052,061 18,189 House Republicans
241 (Note: Because of Conference earmark moratorium, only 4 Republican members requested earmarks) Senate Democrats
15,133 Senate Republicans
5,352 Senate Independents
* Instead of posting what he requests of the Appropriations Committee as required, Rep. Cleaver posts "all earmarks requested of the Congressman." Presumably some but not all of these earmarks are submitted to the Committee. One of the earmarks requests on the Congressman's web site is $48 billion for Quality Day Campus, Inc. After conversation with the office, it is unclear whether this request was actually submitted to the Committee. Given this, and considering the extremely large size of the request, it was excluded from both the total and the member data so as not skew the results with an outlier.
Earmark Requests Database prepared through a joint project of www.WashingtonWatch.com, Taxpayers Against Earmarks (www.EndingSpending.com) & Taxpayers for Common Sense (www.Taxpayer.net).
About Taxpayers Against Earmarks: Taxpayers Against Earmarks, Inc. is a non-partisan organization dedicated to educating and engaging American taxpayers about wasteful government spending and the misguided practice of earmarks. The founder and chairman of Taxpayers Against Earmarks is Joe Ricketts, the founder of Ameritrade. For more information, visit www.endingspending.com.
About WashingtonWatch.com: Government transparency web site WashingtonWatch.com uses government predictions about the costs or savings from proposed laws to calculate the significance to average Americans - in dollars and cents - of proposed changes to the nation's policies. Many of www.WashingtonWatch.com's 1.3 million yearly visitors express their opinions by voting and debating the issues in comment forums from every bill in Congress.
About Taxpayers for Common Sense: Taxpayers for Common Sense is an independent and non-partisan voice for taxpayers working to increase transparency and expose and eliminate wasteful and corrupt subsidies, earmarks, and corporate welfare. For more information, visit www.taxpayer.net.
Contacts Taxpayers Against Earmarks
Brian Baker, 202-688-1880
Taxpayers for Common Sense
Steve Ellis, 202-546-8500 x126
Posted: December 7, 2010
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