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Senators Now Decrying ‘Pork’ Voted To Approve ‘Railroad To Nowhere’

By Satyam Khanna  

"Senators Now Decrying ‘Pork’ Voted To Approve ‘Railroad To Nowhere’"

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candidate208.jpg Because Americans strongly back a timeline to redeploy from Iraq, conservatives have focused their opposition to the recently-passed Iraq redeployment legislation on the domestic spending that’s attached:

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “They used this serious effort, what should have been a serious effort to fund the troops as an opportunity…to get pork for various and sordid products back home.”

Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS): “So why are we going through this exercise of heaping pork on the backs of our men and women in uniform and trying to put artificial dates which will not occur?”

We know this isn’t true. Just last year, these same conservatives endorsed the emergency supplemental bill that included $15 billion in domestic spending, including “$4 billion for farmers, $1.1 billion for Gulf Coast fisheries, and $1 billion in grants to states.”

The bill also included the notorious $700 million Railroad to Nowhere in Mississippi, reportedly the largest earmark ever, sponsored by Senate Minority Whip Lott. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) introduced an amendment aimed at eliminating Lott’s egregious pork project, but it was defeated. Fully 18 senators who last week opposed the Iraq spending bill — including Minority Leader McConnell and Minority Whip Lott — voted last year to preserve the Railroad to Nowhere.

Here’s a list of the Senators who (1) voted to kill the Coburn amendment and (2) voted for the pork-filled bill in 2006, but (3) voted against the 2007 Iraq supplemental:

Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT)
Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO)
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS)
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN)
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM)
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX)
Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS)
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA)
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK)
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)
Sen. John Warner (R-VA)

Conservatives are complaining about “pork” now to distract from their real problem with the Iraq legislation: the fact that it forces President Bush to change course. These senators want to give Bush a blank check to wage a war without end; they just don’t want to admit it to their constituents.

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