February 23, 2009 4:18 PM
ABC News' Jonathan Karl reports: The House Appropriations Committee just posted its $410 billion 2009 Omnibus spending bill. It's a doozy. This is the bill that will fund the government's operations until the end of the fiscal year. It's larded with thousands (so many, I can't count them all yet) of earmarks and adds up an increase in overall discretionary spending of more than 8 percent, the biggest one year increase since 1978 (with the exception of the spending boost after the September 11 attacks).
And this is a bi-partisan feeding frenzy. Roughly 40 percent of the money for earmarks (i.e. pet projects inserted by individual lawmakers) have been inserted by Republicans.
I am still combing through the bill, but here is what has caught my eye so far:
- The City of North Pole, Alaska (motto: "Where the Spirit of Christmas Lives Year Round") gets $1 million to improve its wastewater treatment system. That's $571.43 dollar per citizen.
- $1.75 million to acquire land for the Cape Cod National Seashore.
- $2.2 million for the Center for Grape Genetics in Geneva, NY
- $2.4 million for the Southeastern Poultry Research Lab in Athens, GA
- $42,000 for "Arbuscular Mycontizal Fungi" in Wyndmoor, PA
- $1 million for Corn and Soybean Research in Wooster, OH
- $1.8 million for the Honey Bee Lab in Weslaco, TX
- $1.8 million for Swine Odor and Manure Management Research in Ames, Iowa
- $443,000 for Beaver Management and Control in Mississippi
- $208,000 for Beaver Management and Control in North Carolina
- Several hundred thousand for "Blackbird Management" programs in KS, LA, ND and SD.
- $657,000 for Brown Tree Snake Management in Guam
- $1,049,000 for "Mormon Crickets" in Utah (I am told they are neither Mormon nor are they crickets)
- $162,000 for Rodent Control in Hawaii
- $209,000 to "Improve Blueberry Production and Efficiency" in Georgia
- $254,00 for the "Montana Sheep Institute"
- $413,000 for Tri-State Joint Peanut Research in Alabama
- $2.9 million for Shrimp Aquaculture in AZ, HI, LA, MA, MS, SC and TX
- $277 million for 2nd Avenue Subway
- $210 million for LIRR terminal in Grand Central