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The Gravy Train

Recently, there has been a lot discussion surrounding the upcoming FY07 War Supplemental. This legislation is supposed to simply provide our troops with the needed funding to carry on their mission in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unsurprisingly, the Democrats have seized upon this opportunity to spend, spend, spend. It has been stuffed with over $20 billion in unrelated add-ons and special handouts. Here are some examples of this irresponsible practice:

  • $74 million for a peanut storage program that pays storage fees as farmers market their crop.
  • $750 million to cover shortfalls in the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
  • $400 million to subsidize rural northwest counties who have been suffering from declining timber sales since the mid-1990s.
  • $3.7 billion to compensate farmers and ranchers for losses suffered during the last 3 crop years.
  • $25 million for spinach growers effected by the e-coli health advisory.
  • $60 million for Indian tribes and fisherman affected by declining salmon runs in the Northwest.
  • $50 million for asbestos abatement at the Capitol Hill Power Plant.
  • $140 million for livestock owners, citrus growers affected by the '05 hurricanes.
  • $120 million for the shrimp and menhaden industries.
  • $2.5 billion for homeland security projects such as additional cargo screening at ports and airports.
  • $283 million for extending the small dairy farm income loss contract program.
  • $1.3 billion more for the Army Corps of Engineers to work on the New Orleans levees.
  • $910 million to waive local matching requirements for the FEMA disaster aid program.
  • $1 billion for pandemic flu preparedness.
  • $16 million for maintenance and security improvements to the Capitol Hill office buildings.
  • $25 million for the Small Business Administration disaster-loan program.

The war supplemental is about emergency funding for our military operations, not gravy train spending projects. Peanut farmers and salmon runs have absolutely nothing to do with the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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