Pork Alert: House Military Construction

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BY LESLIE PAIGE – Washington, D.C. – Citizens Against Government Waste today released its preliminary analysis of the House version of the fiscal year (FY) 2011 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.  The bill includes 84 projects costing $355.2 million, which is a 10 percent decrease from the $394.8 million in the FY 2010 version. The number of projects is also down from 109 in 2010, a decrease of 22.9 percent. Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Chet Edwards (D-Texas) requested three projects at a cost of $11 million, 3.1 percent of the total.

Here are some examples of wasteful spending in the bill:

  • $23,500,000 for a consolidated air operations facility at Whiteman Air Force Base in Knob Noster by Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.).  This project is the largest in the bill and accounts for 6.6 percent of the total pork.
  • $21,100,000 for three projects by Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D-Texas), including $2,610,000 for a youth center in Kingsville.
  • $10,500,000 by House appropriator Ciro Rodriguez (D-Texas) for a community event complex at Laughlin Air Force Base near Del Rio, Texas.
  • $9,171,000 for five National Guard readiness centers, including $778,000 for a center in Barrigada, Guam by Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam).  In 2002, an anonymous Pentagon whistle blower referred to National Guard armories as “a hodge-podge of irrelevancies.”  The armories were subsequently renamed readiness centers.
  • $4,500,000 to continue construction of a parking garage at the Los Angeles Air Force Base by Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.).  This appropriation covers only the second phase of the project.
  • $396,000 for a fitness center at Scott Air Force Base by House appropriator Jesse Jackson (D-Ill.) and Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.).

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.