WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) released its 2020 Congressional Pig Book, the 28th edition of the group’s exposé on pork-barrel spending.
CAGW President Tom Schatz was joined on a virtual press conference on CAGW’s Facebook Live by Sen. Marcia Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Reps. Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), Bill Flores (R-Texas), Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), and Ralph Norman (R-S.C.). We will also air pre-recorded messages from Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.).
2020 Congressional Pig Book facts:
- The 2020 Congressional Pig Book exposes $15.9 billion worth of earmarks in fiscal year (FY) 2020, an increase of 3.9 percent from the $15.3 billion in FY 2019.
- The $15.9 billion in FY 2019 earmarks is the largest amount since FY 2010.
- For the eighth time since Congress enacted an earmark “moratorium” in fiscal year (FY) 2011, CAGW has unearthed earmarks in appropriations bills.
- The increase in pork-barrel spending occurs behind closed doors and hidden from taxpayers. There are no names of legislators attached to each earmark and limited information on where and how the money will be spent.
- Since 1991, CAGW has identified 111,417 earmarks costing $375.7 billion.
- $2.1 billion for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), including 16 additional planes for the Air Force and six for the Marine Corps. The JSF has been in development for nearly 19 years and is nine years behind schedule, with total acquisition costs now exceeding $428 billion, nearly double the initial estimate of $233 billion, with lifetime operation and maintenance costs of approximately $1.2 trillion, making it the most expensive weapon system in U.S. history.
- $65 million for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund. For the fourth consecutive year, President Trump’s budget recommended eliminating its funding because it favors state, local, and/or industry interests, and are “not optimally targeted … favor certain species and geographic areas over others,” and do not direct funds to programs and projects that have “the greatest need or potential benefit.”
- $25.8 million for wild horse and burro management (largest amount ever). Since FY 1992, legislators have added $23.8 million in earmarks for wild horse and burro management.
- $24 million for the aquatic plant control program (largest amount ever). Since FY 1994, aquatic plant control projects have been earmarked by Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).
- $16.7 million for the East-West Center (tied for the largest amount ever), added by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). This private organization should be private funding, like its geographical counterpart, the North-South Center, stopped receiving earmarks in 2001. Since 1977, Sen. Schatz and his predecessors have added 17 earmarks worth $177.5 million for the East-West Center.
CAGW President Tom Schatz said in a statement:
“On Monday, July 13, the Congressional Budget Office reported that the budget deficit in June was $864 billion. The highest previous monthly deficit was $234 billion, and only five times in U.S. history has the annual budget deficit been higher than $864 billion. While it is understandable that this unequaled spending has occurred during an unprecedented healthcare and economic crisis, it nonetheless makes it more important than ever that Congress should undertake every possible step to eliminate as much wasteful spending as possible during the ongoing recovery from the pandemic. And that effort should start with a permanent ban on earmarks.”
Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.