STATEMENT OF SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN ON S. 1745/H.R. 3093, THE COMMERCE, JUSTICE, SCIENCE FY 08 APPROPRIATIONS BILL
October 16, 2007
Washington, D.C.– U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) submitted the following statement for the Congressional Record on S. 1745/H.R. 3093, the Commerce, Justice, and Science FY 08 Appropriations Bill:
"Mr. President, I am deeply disappointed that once again, the Senate is considering a bill that mortgages our children’s future for our own political gain. To date, the Senate has passed five spending bills – the majority of which exceeded the President’s budget request. Today, the Senate will seek to add a sixth appropriations bill to that list.
"The Senate Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, 2008, S. 1745/H.R. 3093, provides $54 billion in total discretionary spending and exceeds the President’s budget by $3.2 billion. This has prompted the White House to call the bill “irresponsible” and threaten a veto. If this bill passes in its current form, the Senate will have approved six spending bills that combined exceed the President’s budget by $8 Billion. And, the Senate still has six more appropriations bills to consider this year!
"While the recently enacted ethics and lobbying reform measure requires the disclosure of the authorship of earmarks, it seems to have had little, if any, impact on curtailing earmarks. Indeed, 91 members secured earmarks in this appropriations bill alone. There are over 600 earmarks in this bill that total $486 million. For example, this bill contains—
· $1 million for the “National Fatherhood Initiative”
· $500,000 for a Maritime Museum in Mobile, AL
· $15 million for a “Massachusetts Groundfish Disaster,” (I was unaware there was such a disaster!)
· $215,000 for the Alaska Sea Otter and Steller Sea Lion Commission
· $360,000 for “Hawaii Rain Gages,”
· Over $9 million for “Human Intelligence Management”
· $500,000 for “Girls, Inc.” of New York, NY.
"And, if that wasn’t enough, the bill also includes—
· $450,000 for an “advanced undersea vehicle”
· $500,000 for horseshoe crab research
· $2 million for permanent displays for the “Thunder Bay Exhibit”
· $3 million for the “Maryland Institute for Dextrous Robotics”
· $400,000 for wireless cameras in Elizabeth, NJ
· $5 million for forensic lab equipment in West Virginia
· $1.5 million for the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.
"In addition, the bill provides funding to many programs that were proposed to be cut by the President. It also funds many other programs at levels beyond what was recommended by the President’s budget. For example, $100 million is allocated for the Advanced Technology Program that the President has sought to eliminate for the past several years and $110 million is allocated for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program -- $64 million above the President’s budget request. The sole purpose of both programs is to subsidize private firms and industries, which, as I’ve argued previously, are nothing more than welfare programs for corporate special interests. I have fought against funding for both of these programs for many years to no avail, but will continue to speak out against hard earned tax payer dollars being provided to assist corporations that have billions of capital available to them on the private markets.
"Since the bill has been brought to the floor, over $1 billion worth of spending has been added. Specifically, the Senate voted to add $1 billion on top of the $10 billion the bill already provided to NASA. I continue to support NASA and space research, but at what cost to our nation’s children who will inherit the largest national debt this country has seen?
"Mr. President, again, I would like to express my disappointment that Senate leadership has brought to the floor a bill that is $3 billion over the President’s request containing more than 600 earmarks. In my recent travels around the nation, I hear again and again from citizens who are fed up with pork barrel spending and yet, Congress fails to listen. It is a shame and I can only hope that the American people will join me and the President in expressing their displeasure with this bill. I hope that the remaining six appropriations bills do not contain such rampant and reckless spending, and that Congress works to regain some fiscal discipline."