Porker of the Month:
Rep. John Mica
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has named Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) Porker of the Month for his opposition to an earmark ban and defense of earmarks. According to the Orlando Sentinel, on July 8, Rep. Mica said, “There’s no way in hell I would support banning earmarks…That’s our job, getting elected and making decisions. Yes, there are bad earmarks, like there are bad members of Congress. And what you do is get rid of them.” Earmarking is not Congress’ “job,” as Rep. Mica claims. Before the 1980s, Congress would fund general grant programs and let federal and state agencies select individual recipients through a competitive process or formula. The House and Senate Appropriations Committees named specific projects only when they had been the subject of hearings and approved by authorizing committees. Members of Congress with local concerns would lobby the president and federal agencies for consideration. The normal budget process, which is aimed at preventing abuse and allocating resources on the basis of merit and need, has become a sideshow in the scramble by individual Appropriations Committee members to pick winners and losers based on seniority. For opposing an earmark ban or moratorium and defending the out-of-control earmarking process, CAGW names Rep. John Mica its July 2008 Porker of the Month.
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