Citizen's Group Releases Annual Congressional 'Pig Book' - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/02/08 - Washington

Citizen's Group Releases Annual Congressional 'Pig Book'

Congress spent more than 17-billion taxpayer dollars on pork barrel projects.

That's according to Citizens Against Government Waste. The nonpartisan, nonprofit group today released a book detailing congressional pork barrel spending for fiscal year 2008.

According to the " Pig Book ," lawmakers added more than 17-billion dollars in projects to 12 appropriations bills. That's 30 percent more than pork spending for 2007.

South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint says the book is a good thing.

"I think we've got the big spenders on the run. I think some of the reforms and the transparency are increasingly causing embarrassment and shame to folks who put in these irrational and absurd earmark spending requests and I think this year we're gonna be able to stop most of the earmarks."

The book shows Alaska leading with 380-million dollars, or 556 dollars per capita. For the first time, names of members of Congress were added to the projects.

The book says the top pork project spender was Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi with 892-million dollars.

The 17- billion dollars went to a variety of pet projects, including, three million dollars for a youth golf program, and more than 200-thousand dollars to olive fruit fly research in Paris.

Information courtesy of the Associated Press (2008).

Cathryn Khalil, reporting.

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