Congressman Pitts Opposes Pork-Filled War Funding Bill
Congressman Joe Pitts (R, PA-16) today voted against H.R. 1591, the Democrat supplemental war appropriations bill. Though intended as a troop funding measure, this legislation includes more than $20 billion in unrelated, non-emergency pork-barrel spending, and seeks to micromanage the war by setting arbitrary dates for withdrawing from Iraq.
"This bill is fiscally irresponsible and constitutionally flawed," Congressman Pitts said. "If Democrats really want to support our troops, they should offer a clean bill that provides the funding needed to achieve victory. Instead, this legislation defies the Constitution by seeking to micromanage the war, and insults the taxpayer by using our troops as leverage for billions of dollars in pork spending."
Democrat leaders have added more than $20 billion of unrelated, non-emergency spending to the war supplemental. Some examples include:
· Spinach: Provides $25 million for payments to spinach producers that were unable to market spinach crops as a result of the FDA Public Health Advisory issued on September 14, 2006.
· Shrimp: Provides $120 million to the shrimp industry for expenses related to the consequences of Hurricane Katrina.
· Peanut Storage Subsidies: Provides $74 million to extend peanut storage payments through 2007. The Peanut Subsidy Storage program, which is set to expire this year, pays farmers for the storage, handling, and other costs for peanuts voluntarily placed in the marketing loan program.
· Aquaculture Operations: Provides $5 million for payments to "aquaculture operations and other persons in the U.S. engaged in the business of breeding, rearing, or transporting live fish" (such as shellfish, oysters and clams) to cover economic losses incurred as a result of an emergency order issued by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on October 24, 2006.
· NASA: Provides $35 million to NASA, under the "exploration capabilities" account, for "expenses related to the consequences of Hurricane Katrina."
· HUD Indian Housing: Provides $80 million in tenant-based rental assistance for public and Indian housing under HUD.