Yesterday, Bush effectively signed a cease-fire - critics called it more like a surrender - in his war on pork. He signed into law a $286 billion transportation measure that contains a record 6,371 pet projects inserted by members of Congress from both parties... "There are nearly 6,500 member-requested projects worth more than $24 billion, nearly nine percent of the total spending," executives from six taxpayer and conservative groups complained in a letter to Bush urging that he use his veto pen for the first time. They noted that Reagan vetoed a transportation bill in 1987 because there were 152 such special requests, known in the parlance of congressional budgeting as "EarMark-s."
"Egregious and remarkable," exclaimed Sen. John [[Mc Cain]], R-Ariz., about the estimated $24 billion in the bill set aside for highways, bus stops, parking lots and Bicycle trails. Mc Cain, one of only four senators to oppose the bill, listed several dozen "interesting" projects, including $480,000 to rehabilitate a historic warehouse on the Erie Canal and $3 million for dust control mitigation in Arkansas.
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