He’s not the king, but Senator Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) record isn’t so hot either, he comes in second of total amount of earmarks requested by Iowa’s Congressmen and Senators. He was skewered by Fox News’ Gregg Jarrett yesterday on about his own earmarks in the upcoming Omnibus bill.
Partial transcript courtesy of Newsbusters provided below:
JARRETT: Can you remove it? Why don’t you remove it?
GRASSLEY: No, you can’t remove it now because this is a conference report and conference reports are not amendable.
JARRETT: Did you insert it?
GRASSLEY: I would — I don’t know whether I inserted it. Now, maybe I should know that.
JARRETT: How could you not know?
GRASSLEY: Here is why I don’t know, is because there is 400 earmarks that I got from my constituents that I submitted to the Appropriations Committee. I’m not on the Appropriations Committee, so I don’t know what went through the final decision making of what was left in or not left in. And then sometimes both senators and congressmen put in for the same earmark. So out of 400 earmarks, you’re asking me right now do I know if I put in that specific earmark. I don’t know.
JARRETT: Don’t you think that you should know?
GRASSLEY: I know from the standpoint of the records in my office, but I don’t know right now if you’re asking me to remember that here.
JARRETT: And how many earmarks did you submit?
GRASSLEY: We get requests for 400 earmarks. I don’t know how many out of the 400 we submitted and the reason I don’t know that is because, see, it’s over 12 bills over a period of 10 months that this process goes on. But I did vote for the DeMint amendment that we shouldn’t have any earmarks whatsoever. And then what you should do in the case of the opera that you’re asking about, that opera, if the money is going to be given for that, it should be given on a competitive bid basis, would be the best way to do it and that’s the way you would have to do it with the DeMint amendment was adopted.
According to LegiStorm, in Fiscal Years 2008-2009, Senator Grassley had *only* 33 solo earmarks with a total of $90,826,000. He was the co-sponsor on 288 earmarks totaling $817,749,006. With a grand total of $908,575,006. Some of his solo earmarks:
- 2008 – Missouri Fish and Wildlife Recovery – $50,184,000
- 2008 – Saylorville Lake – $4,050,000
- 2008 – Red Rock Dam and Lake – $3,432,000
- 2008 – City of Waterloo, Chamberlain Demolition Project – $343,000
Most of his solo earmarks do seem to have an infrastructure quality to them (why via earmarks though?), but when you look at some of the co-sponsored earmarks:
- 2009 Missouri River Fish Mitigation – $57,418,000
- 2008 Statewide Bus Replacement – $4,596,200
According to Earmark Watch in FY 2008, Senator Grassley has Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education earmarks totalling $10,045,000 He is still better than his counterpart, but far from perfect. Earmarks need to stop on both sides.
I’d love to see Senator Grassley’s number go down to $0. Federal spending will continue to grow as long as Members of Congress can continue adding earmarks to bills.