Amanda Carpenter

Nussle noted that Congress is empowered to “police itself” but said “the President has taken on the challenge of [eliminating] waste, fraud and abuse and highlighting earmarks and pork-barrel projects.

“We need to highlight these abuses,” Nussle said.

The Heritage Foundation compiled a sample list of the requested earmarks here. Some of the items include a $3 million earmark for the lending program managed by the open border group National Council of La Raza, $1 million for the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock Arkansas, and $3.7 million to combat the Formosan Subterranean Termite.

Republican Sen. Ted Stevens (Ala.), who came under fire for a past request of $400 million to fund a “Bridge to Nowhere,” has requested $34 million for the Alaska Native Educational Equity Assistance Program, $7 million for an Arctic Energy Office and $150,000 for rodent control on the Aleutian Islands.

Nussle acknowledged getting tough on Republicans could cause heartburn among those who face uphill battles in the coming elections.

As a former Republican member for the left-leaning 1st District in Iowa, Nussle said, “there is a popular belief if you were a vulnerable member--and I was in that category seven of my eight terms, I was always considered vulnerable--one of the things that is often offered to you were opportunities to pass bill on the floor or to have a [pet] project, and it was thought this was a way for you to get some good attention back home, to look like you were effective and to bring home the bacon, so to speak.”

“And I have to tell you that it does in some instances it does work like that,” Nussle said. “But, I would say it’s a waning strategy in terms of its effectiveness. I would say most constituents now are not as impressed by your ability to waste federal dollars then they used to be.”

Amanda Carpenter

Amanda Carpenter is the author of “The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy's Dossier on Hillary Clinton,” published in October 2006.
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