Guam – Almost $10-million dollars for Guam projects and programs are now part of a controversial Senate spending bill to finish out the fiscal year.
Senate appropriators have assembled an omnibus bill that lumps together individual agency spending bills to fund the rest of this fiscal year.
But unlike it’s House counterpart that simply extends 2009-‘10 spending levels, the $1.2 trillion dollar Senate bill, that still faces hurdles, includes more than 6-thousand member projects, at least nine of them are for Guam.
Deficit hawks led by Arizona Republican John McCain pounced on these ‘earmarks,’ and McCain reportedly twittered about one, sponsored by Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo.
The Guam Fishermens Coop would get $125-thousand dollars to refurbish a 30-year old fish processing and market facility and upgrade refrigeration equipment.
Bordallo requested $525-thousand. McCain bellowed on the Senate floor that Americans rejected wasteful government spending on election day. He asked sarcastically, “Are we tone deaf? Are we stricken with amnesia?”
But even some Republicans were trying to get their projects in ‘under the wire’ before a new, more republican congress takes over in January, under GOP pledges to end earmarks.
Bordallo accused Republicans earlier of taking away Congress’s constitutional responsibility to “determine funding priorities.”
Other Guam projects in the Senate democrats’ bill: $5-million for tropical and subtropical research; $400-thousand for agriculture development; $800-thousand for Apra Harbor improvements for the military build-up; almost the same for a Guam National Guard Readiness Center and $560-thousand for a Guam National Guard Emergency Notification system.