Line-Item Mischief

Posted September 24, 2003 at 6:18pm

With appropriations season upon us and Congress rushing to find an exit strategy, it’s becoming more and more likely that Members’ pet projects will sneak through the legislative process. But Roll Call is always out to protect the American taxpayers, so we pored over every appropriations bill and found what some people might classify as “pork.” Judge for yourselves.

Transportation

For construction of an airstrip on the National Mall adjacent to the Capitol, $10 million.
Sens. John Edwards (D-N.C.), Bob Graham (D-Fla.), John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), and Reps. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) and Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio.)

Texas Delegation

For transportation costs incurred by state legislators visiting neighboring states, $200,000.
Rep. Martin Frost (D-Texas)

Maintenance

For replacement of all House and Senate doormats fouled by mud from Capitol Visitor Center excavation, $2,000.
Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.)

Capitol Art Collection

For the commission of a statue honoring the Rev. Al Sharpton’s contributions to American politics, $15,000.
Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.)

Senate Leadership

For the printing and distribution of a “Guide to an Effective Filibuster” to all Senate Democrats, $200.
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.)

Senate Radio / TV Gallery

For the purchase of new television cameras, $10,000.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)

Campaign Finance

For the funding of a study to repeal the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, $5,000.
Rep. Robert Matsui (D-Calif.)

House Restaurants

For reprinting of menus to reflect return of “french fries,” $1,000.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas)

Senate Leadership

For stenciling, letterhead and other expenses related to adding “M.D.” to all official materials in the Majority Leader’s office, $10,000.
Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.)

House Democratic Caucus

For hiring Ozzie Smith as a consultant to the Democratic baseball team, $5,000.
Rep. Martin Sabo (D-Minn.)

Secretaries of State

For all necessary expenses making it possible for states to hold special elections within one day of a vacancy being declared, $1 billion.
Reps. David Dreier (R-Calif.), Candice Miller (R-Mich.) and Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.)