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Tea Party Caucus takes $1 billion in earmarks

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Congressional members of the Tea Party Caucus say they want to cut the size of government but a review of records finds that over the past year they have requested over $1 billion in earmarks.

The new report from Hotline On Call found that 52 members of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus “requested a total of 764 earmarks valued at $1,049,783,150 during Fiscal Year 2010, the last year for which records are available.”

Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) requested 88 earmarks totaling $100,514,200. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) wanted 47 earmarks valued at $93,980,000. Rep. Robert Aderholt attached his name to 69 projects worth $78,263,000.

Incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced support in October for extending the Republican moratorium on earmarks in the House.

“There is no question that earmarks – rightly or wrongly – have become the poster child for Washington’s wasteful spending binges,” Cantor wrote in an op-ed for Politico. “They have been linked to corruption and scandal, and serve as a fuel line for the culture of spending that has dominated Washington far too long.”

Last week, House Republicans voted unanimously to extend the earmark moratorium through the 112th Congress.

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Hotline notes that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and 13 other members of the caucus did not request any earmarks during Fiscal Year 2010.

When Bachmann formed the Tea Party Caucus, she said she was giving voice to Americans who wanted to reduce government spending.

“The American people are speaking out loud and clear,” she said in a statement announcing the caucus. “They have had enough of the spending, the bureaucracy, and the government knows best mentality running rampant today throughout the halls of Congress.”

The Tea Party caucus “will espouse the timeless principles of our founding, principles that all members of Congress have sworn to uphold. The American people are doing their part and making their voices heard and this caucus will prove that there are some here in Washington willing to listen,” she added.

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“It’s disturbing to see the Tea Party Caucus requested that much in earmarks,” David Williams, vice president for policy at Citizens Against Government Waste, told Hotline. “This is their time to put up or shut up, to be blunt. There’s going to be a huge backlash if they continue to request earmarks.”

Hotline compiled their report from Citizens Against Government Waste’s annual Pig Book.

The list of Tea Party Caucus members and their total earmark requests for Fiscal Year 2010 follows:

NAME                EARMARKS        AMOUNT

Aderholt (R-AL)        69        $78,263,000
Akin (R-MO)             9        $14,709,000
Alexander (R-LA)       41        $65,395,000
Bachmann (R-MN)         0                  0
Barton (R-TX)          14        $12,269,400
Bartlett (R-MD)        19        $43,060,650
Bilirakis (R-FL)       14        $13,600,000
R. Bishop (R-UT)       47        $93,980,000
Burgess (R-TX)         15        $15,804,400
Broun (R-GA)            0                  0
Burton (R-IN)           0                  0
Carter (R-TX)          26        $42,232,000
Coble (R-NC)           19        $18,755,000
Coffman (R-CO)          0                  0
Crenshaw (R-FL)        37        $54,424,000
Culberson (R-TX)       22        $33,792,000
Fleming (R-LA)         10        $31,489,000
Franks (R-AZ)           8        $14,300,000
Gingrey (R-GA)         19        $16,100,000
Gohmert (R-TX)         15         $7,099,000
S. Graves (R-MO)       11         $8,331,000
R. Hall (R-TX)         16        $12,232,000
Harper (R-MS)          25        $80,402,000
Herger (R-CA)           5         $5,946,000
Hoekstra (R-MI)         9         $6,392,000
Jenkins (R-KS)         12        $24,628,000
S. King (R-IA)         13         $6,650,000
Lamborn (R-CO)          6        $16,020,000
Luetkemeyer (R-MO)      0                  0
Lummis (R-WY)           0                  0
Marchant (R-TX)         0                  0
McClintock (R-CA)       0                  0
Gary Miller (R-CA)     15        $19,627,500
Jerry Moran (R-KS)     22        $19,400,000
Myrick (R-NC)           0                  0
Neugebauer (R-TX)       0                  0
Pence (R-IN)            0                  0
Poe (R-TX)             12         $7,913,000
T. Price (R-GA)         0                  0
Rehberg (R-MT)         88       $100,514,200
Roe (R-TN)              0                  0
Royce (R-CA)            7         $6,545,000
Scalise (R-LA)         20        $17,388,000
P. Sessions (R-TX)      0                  0
Shadegg (R-AZ)          0                  0
Adrian Smith (R-NE)     1           $350,000
L. Smith (R-TX)        18        $14,078,000
Stearns (R-FL)         17        $15,472,000
Tiahrt (R-KS)          39        $63,400,000
Wamp (R-TN)            14        $34,544,000
Westmoreland (R-GA)     0                  0
Wilson (R-SC)          15        $23,334,000


TOTAL 764 $1,049,783,150

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