The Office of Management and Budget today released an analysis showing Washington lawmakers obtained about 2,000 fewer “earmarks” in the last year. The earmark process is a way for congresspeople to stuff pet projects into often-unrelated bills. Several Republican lawmakers in Minnesota (and elsewhere) have vowed not to use earmarks anymore.
Still, 9,192 earmarks, costing taxpayers more than $11 billion, made it it into legislation.
Some of the locals and their projects follow (Source: OMB spreadsheet):
James Oberstar $236,055,000
Predator control programs to protect livestock, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program, corrosion training simulation program, electric ATVs for the National Guard, in-squad digital cameras for the State Patrol, Northern Lights Express, pedestrian bridge for City of Isanti, Tucson Public Broadcasting solar arrays.
Amy Klobuchar $179,689,000
An instructional program on the Constitution, Northstar and Central Corridor rail projects, 9-1-1 radio system in rural Minnesota, National Guard counter-drug program, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon soldier reintegration program, Midwest Poultry Consortium.
Keith Ellison $54,395,000
Projects included water quality analysis of Minnehaha Creek, equipment for the Hormel research facility, Coe mansion restoration, and transit station in Minneapolis.
Collin Peterson $31,536,000
Tire to track transformer system for light military vehicles, 21st St. underpass project in Moorhead, Minnesota Valley Regional Rail Authority. (See details)
Betty McCollum $28,214,000
Central Corridor study, Czech and Slovak hall restoration, Ramsey County juvenile detention alternative program, College of St. Catherine (now St. Catherine University) for health professions training.
Erik Paulsen – $25,037,000
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, facilities and equipment for Children’s Hospital, Brockton Lane interchange on I-94.
Tim Walz $25,100,000
Soybean genomics, Hormel institute equipment, Allina heart disease prevention program,
Al Franken $5,800,000
Facilities and equipment for Children’s Hospital, equipment for the Hormel institute research facility, and College of Saint Scholastica for a rural health technology project.
Members of Congress are supposed to list details of their earmark requests on their Web sites, but few make it very easy to find them.