Looks like Murtha has been characteristically dishonest about his latest earmark:
The Department of Energy is denying Rep. John Murtha's (D-Pa.) claim that it supports his $1 million earmark request for a project in his district aimed at protecting the nation's natural-gas pipelines.
Murtha attempted yesterday to quell criticism of a so-called mystery $1 million earmark to establish the Center for Instrumented Critical Infrastructure, a subsidiary of Concurrent Technology Corporation (CTC), a nonprofit technology innovation center in Johnstown, Pa., that has received millions of dollars in earmarks in recent years.
DoE spokeswoman Anne Kolton said yesterday the earmark is not a program that meets the department's "mission critical" threshold, noting it was "inconsistent" with the department's 2008 budget.
Anti-earmark crusader Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) challenged the earmark on the House floor Tuesday, asking if the "mysterious" Center for Instrumented Critical Infrastructure even existed because he and his staff couldn't find a website for it. Flake's challenge failed, 98-326.
In response to Flake, Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.), who chairs the spending subcommittee responsible for the project, admitted he didn't know whether it existed.
"At this time, I do not know," Visclosky said. "But if it does not exist, the monies could not go to it."