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Tea Party Caucus Is Against Earmarks Until They're For Them

Michele Bachmann's Tea Party Caucus claims to be anti-earmark, but in the 111th Congress, that same group requested and took $1 Billion in earmarks. Via the National Journal: Bachmann and 13 of her Tea Party Caucus colleagues did not request

Michele Bachmann's Tea Party Caucus claims to be anti-earmark, but in the 111th Congress, that same group requested and took $1 Billion in earmarks.

Via the National Journal:

Bachmann and 13 of her Tea Party Caucus colleagues did not request any earmarks in the last Fiscal Year, according to CAGW's annual Congressional Pig Book. But others have requested millions of dollars in special projects.

Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), for one, attached his name to 69 earmarks in the last fiscal year, for a total of $78,263,000. The 41 earmarks Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.) requested were worth $65,395,000. Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) wanted $63,400,000 for 39 special projects, and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) wanted $93,980,000 set aside for 47 projects.

Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) takes the prize as the Tea Partier with his name on the most earmarks. Rehberg's office requested funding for 88 projects, either solely or by co-signing earmarks requests with Sens. Max Baucus (D) and Jon Tester (D), at a cost of $100,514,200. On his own, Rehberg requested 20 earmarks valued at more than $9.6 million.

More than one member can sign onto an earmark. Still, there are 29 caucus members who requested on their own or joined requests for more than $10 million in earmark funding, and seven who wanted more than $50 million in funding.

The stupid thing about this whole earmark debate is that the funds are already allocated and they're going to be spent. All these representatives are doing is carving out part of the allocation for their district. If they were serious about earmarks, they'd step up one tier and change the way the budget allocations are done.

And while Michelle Bachmann did not request any earmarks, let's not forget that her family and many others in her state benefit from farm subsidies, which are much more valuable than earmarks.

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