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Rep. Neil Abercrombie is CAGW's August Porker of the Month
Washington, D.C. - Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) its August Porker of the Month. Rep. Abercrombie is a multiple threat to taxpayers. He ranked first in earmarks in the House in fiscal year (FY) 2009 with 44 projects worth $256.8 million and fifth in the House in FY 2008 with 29 projects worth $153.6 million.
Rep. Abercrombie’s latest outrage is to slip a provision (Sec. 2833) into the House version of the 2010 Defense Authorization Act that would double the construction costs of relocating 11,600 U.S. troops from Japan to Guam. The original cost estimate was $15 billion, $10 billion of which is associated with construction of living quarters for military personnel and their families. However, Sec. 2833 requires that the wages paid to construction workers match the “prevailing” wages in Hawaii, which are 250 percent higher than those on Guam. The Congressional Budget Office estimates this “would increase the need for discretionary appropriations by about $10 billion over the 2010-2014 period.”
OpenSecrets.org lists the Hunt Building Company, which is headquartered in Texas and would be one of the prime builders of the facilities on Guam, as among Abercrombie’s top five campaign contributors in the 2007-2008 election cycle. The Hawaii Free Press reported on August 4 that Hunt has contributed at least $32,500 to Abercrombie’s re-election since 2002.
Finally, Rep. Abercrombie has supported the unwanted and unnecessary alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which was first identified by CAGW as an earmark in the 2004 Congressional Pig Book and has been a target for elimination by the Pentagon and both Presidents Bush and Obama. In FY 2009, the alternate engine program got two earmarks for a total of $465 million. So far this year, the House-passed FY 2010 Defense Authorization Act has $603 million and the FY 2010 Defense Appropriations Act has $560 million for the alternate engine. President Obama has threatened to veto any bill that contains funding for the engine.
For abusing an already-stretched Pentagon budget to reward favored contractors and continue funding a wasteful and unnecessary alternate engine, CAGW names Rep. Neil Abercrombie August Porker of the Month.
Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.
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