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9:47 pm, Dec 06
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'What is wrong with Washington': New pork map exposes district lawmakers’ spending behaviors

Government

A new pork map was recently released to Dallas residents by The Center for Renewing America and the American Accountability Foundation. 

The system allows citizens to analyze all spending traces on behalf of lawmakers assigned to their area. 

“Nothing epitomizes what is wrong with Washington more than pork-barrel spending in the form of congressional earmarks,” reads a letter drafted by 35 Republicans in both chambers, according to Roll Call.

Former President Donald Trump’s White House budget director and president of the Center for Renewing America, Russ Vought was responsible for overseeing the launch alongside American Accountability Foundation President Tom Jones, Roll Call reported.

A total of 3,309 earmarks were posted on behalf of 324 Congress members. The cost of the proposal will amount to $9.6 billion tax-paying dollars. Two-hundred twenty Democrats and 104 Republicans supported the “member-directed spending,” consisting of 2,338 Democrat requests, amounting to $4.6 billion, and 971 earmarks for $4.7 billion on behalf of Republicans.  

According to Pork Map, an example of an earmark suggestion includes a $7.75 million donation to a sheep research station, a bridge to Mexico and $300,000 to put urinals in women’s bathrooms. Other pet projects include a $5,000 earmark going toward “Santa gifts” for seniors in Beech Grove, $250,000 allocated toward the Michelle Obama Library for workshops, events and other programs and $300,000 for a new dog park in Montebello, Forbes reports.

Twenty-five congressional Republicans began using earmarks after their reinstatement in March, including Dan Crenshaw, Madison Cawthorn, Garrett Graves, Andy Barr, Chuck Fleischmann, Dan Newhouse, Mike Garcia, Ashley Hensen and Harold Rogers, among many others. Each earmark represents a proposal presented by state representatives, along with a detailed review of how the budget will be allocated to each specific project. The practice has been controversial, accused of being corrupt, allowing lawmakers to fund “pet projects.”

According to Roll Call, a recent plea was made on behalf of Florida Rep. Greg Steube, who signed a March 10 letter directed at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Ted Budd (R-North Carolina) demanding them to stop encouraging earmarks for the fiscal 2022 budget cycle.