Oink, Oink: Murtha Named CAGW "Porker of the Month"

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Rep. John ‘Jack’ Murtha (D-Pa.) May Porker of the Month for abusing his position as chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Committee and directing pork to his district.

It all began when Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) challenged a $23 million earmark for the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), which CAGW has recommended be eliminated, in Murtha’s district.  Rep. Murtha became enraged and confronted Rep. Rogers on the House floor.

“That’s the way I do it,

Rep. Rogers submitted a privileged resolution charging that Rep. Murtha violated a House rule which forbids members from blocking earmarks based on how a colleague votes, but it failed 219-189.  The Hill also reported that Rep. Murtha had missed the earmark certification deadline by several weeks and only submitted his letter for the NDIC the day before the intelligence bill was marked up.

Earmarks give appropriations cardinals like Rep. Murtha control over their colleagues, which in turn allows them to play outside the rules.  Wasteful programs like the NDIC get funded, not based on merit, but out of fear of members’ power as appropriators.