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Taxpayer Groups Urge President to Veto War Spending Bill
For Immediate Release April 18, 2007
Pete Sepp, (703) 683-5700
(Washington, D.C.) -- Six leading fiscally conservative groups today urged Congress to deliver a pork-free emergency supplemental appropriations bill to President George W. Bush. The U.S. Readiness, Veterans' Health and Iraq Accountability Act of 2007 currently costs $123 billion, or $20 billion more than the $103 billion requested by the President for the War on Terror and hurricane relief. House and Senate negotiators plan to deliver a bill to the President by the end of next week.
Americans for Prosperity, American Shareholders Association, Americans for Tax Reform, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Freedom Works, and the National Taxpayers Union issued the following joint statement:
As taxpayers send their returns to the IRS today, they should be aware that the House and Senate have approved an emergency supplemental spending bill with more than $20 billion in wasteful spending. A bill to fund the War on Terror should be just that and nothing else. The extraneous expenditures add to the national debt and further corrupt the budget process. If Congress does not remove the pork, President Bush should veto the bill. There is nothing more routine than the presidential conventions that occur every four years, yet the U.S. Senate decided that it must provide $100 million in "emergency" funding for security needs at the Democratic and Republican conventions in 2008. The House included $25 million for spinach growers in California and $74 million for peanut storage in Georgia.
Americans are all too familiar with egregious waste in military spending, and expenditures for the War on Terror are of such an ongoing nature that they would be better provided through the regular appropriations process than emergency requests. Nonetheless, passing this particular supplemental in its current state will set an ominous precedent for the 110th Congress. The new congressional leadership shamelessly used earmarks in return for votes on the supplemental. That will help ensure that pork-barrel politics reigns supreme in every major legislative matter for the next two years. Members of Congress must be held accountable for voting on a bill's purpose and not its extraneous provisions.
For these reasons, House and Senate conferees should strip the pork out of the bill and send the President legislation that he can sign or veto based solely on the issue of funding the troops.
Media contacts listed below:
Alexa Moutevelis, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, 202-467-5318, firstname.lastname@example.org