Tuesday, March 10, 2009

McCain's '10 porkiest' earmarks are mostly rural

Earmarks are coming under fresh fire, with Congress debating an omnibus spending bill to fund much of the government for the fiscal year ends Sept. 30. In an article for the Daily Yonder, Douglas Burns reports that six of the “10 porkiest” earmarks identified by Republican Sen. John McCain would benefit rural Americans.

Burns, of Carroll, Iowa, focuses on McCain's No.1: a $1.8 million project for swine odor and manure management at Iowa State University. Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, who helped secure the funding, says that while pig odor may seem amusing, it is a serious problem in Iowa. He says the state has 20 million pigs, which create eight times the amount of waste as people do. “That’s like having 160 million people in the state of Iowa with no kind of control over effluent,” Harkin said. “As you know we have problems with our rivers and our streams, with odor. This is legitimate research.”

Burns writes that other rural projects on McCain's list include "study of grape genetics; beaver management in North Carolina and Mississippi; cricket control in Utah; a world trade center in Montana; and a honey bee factory in the ag-intensive Rio Grande Valley of Texas." (Read more)

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