Washington, D.C. - Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) its October Porker of the Month. The four-term senator from Texas is loading up her goodie bag just before Halloween as she prepares to leave the Senate to run for governor. While claiming to be a fiscal conservative, Sen. Hutchison requested 149 projects worth $1.6 billion for authorization and appropriations bills for fiscal year 2010.
In a March 6, 2009 Dallas Morning News article, Sen. Hutchison said, “I do think that earmarks are a legitimate role of Congress. I don’t think that we should be earmarking things that do not have a national interest…Can it be overdone? Yes. Should it be transparent? Yes. But that is the role of Congress, to determine how we spend money.” On September 28, 2009, she told the Austin American-Statesman that “I’m proud of being able to garner Texans’ fair share of their tax dollars.”
“Sen. Hutchison is repeating the same old insidious quackery about the earmarking process: that it can be made accountable and that it somehow levels the spending playing field,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz. “The only fair way to distribute the taxpayers’ money is to eliminate the practice altogether and instead work to ensure that every dime of taxpayer money is spent using the budget laws and rules that they themselves established. Earmarking is a secretive, wasteful process that breeds a culture of corruption in Washington and distrust among taxpayers.”
According to CAGW’s pork database, Sen. Hutchison secured 130 projects worth $189 million in fiscal year (FY) 2009, and 145 projects worth $259 million for FY 2008. So far, the senator has appeared in several of CAGW’s Pork Alerts for FY 2010. In the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, she joined several other senators in getting $50.5 million for the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC). The Senate bill had already appropriated $132 million to the NDPC even before the earmark. In the Military Construction Appropriations Act, Sen. Hutchison took home five projects worth $25,045,000, equal to 8.2 percent of the total dollars in the bill. In the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, she grabbed earmarks for two light rail transportation (LRT) projects: $75,000,000 for the Houston North Corridor LRT and $75,000,000 for the Houston Southeast Corridor LRT.
For personifying the tiresome hypocrisy of some members of Congress who want to claim the badge of fiscal conservatism while continuing to abscond with billions of dollars in wasteful pork projects, CAGW names Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison its October Porker of the Month.
Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.