The $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill offered up by Harry Reid and the senate Democrats is a marvel of pork and interest group politics.
For instance, there are at least $8 billion worth of earmarks in the bill:
Three hundred fifty thousand dollars for cool-season legume research in Idaho, North Dakota and Washington. A half million dollars for road roundabouts in Mississippi. And $1 million for arthropod damage in Nevada.
They're just a few of the 6,600 pet projects lawmakers from both parties - and both chambers - stuck inside an enormous spending bill unveiled by Senate Democrats on Tuesday, according to government watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense. The release of the $1.1 trillion dollar omnibus bill, including $8 billion in earmarks, quickly reignited the fight over pork-barrel spending in the final days of the lame-duck session.Shortly after the Nov. 2 election, Senate Republicans united their caucus and passed a two-year ban on congressional pork. Their colleagues in the House extended their moratorium a couple days later.
But the spending plan contains hundreds of millions of dollars worth of earmarks requested by Republicans, including from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) himself.
Earlier this year, McConnell asked for $4 million for marijuana eradication efforts by the Kentucky National Guard; $1 million for construction of the Kentucky Blood Center Building; and $650,000 for Advanced Genetic Technologies, a DNA research center at the University of Kentucky.
When reporters asked about his earmark requests Tuesday, McConnell said he was "actively working to defeat" the massive omnibus bill since the Senate never had a chance to take up individual appropriations bills.
No debate, no hearings, and no oversight. Never, ever listen to what any politician says. Always watch what he does.