It’s not just some Democrats, as Republicans would have you believe, but Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (right, with co-porker Thad Cochran) who has more than $75 million worth of earmarks in the omnibus bill. Some fine example he’s setting for those irresponsible, big-spending Democrats.
The earmarks McConnell asked for in the omnibus include $950,000 for the Western Kentucky University bikeway project, $427,000 for the Gunpowder Creek trail in Boone County and $1.6 million for the Forage Animal Production Research Laboratory in Lexington.
In total, McConnell has received 53 of the earmarks he requested, totaling $75.5 million, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan group that tracks federal spending.
So, the next time a Republican friend starts whining about pork in the stimulus bill, mention Mitch McConnell and see the reaction. In fact, six Republican senators are among the top 10 porkahalics, lead by Republican Thad Cochran of Mississippi. The Taxpayers for Common Sense database shows that Cochran got dough for drinking water and wastewater projects, mosquito-trapping research, and beaver management and control. Cochran is responsible for 204 earmarks worth $471 million, which makes McConnell look like a piker.
Other Republicans on the top-ten hit parade are David Vitter of Louisiana, Kit Bond of Missouri, Richard Shelby of Alabama, and Senator Roger Wicker of Mississipi.