Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has named Florida Republican Rep. Tom Rooney Porker of the Month for continuing his reckless push to revive congressional earmarks. Last fall – just days after Americans voted to “drain the swamp” in Washington – Rep. Rooney banded with Reps. John Culberson (R-Texas) and Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) in an effort to lift the moratorium on self-serving, special interest earmarks that has been in place since 2011.
Temporarily rebuffed in that effort by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Rep. Rooney has now introduced a resolution that would allow members of Congress to earmark funding for Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation water projects. Rep. Rooney has steadfastly espoused the virtues of earmarks, even though as former Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) famously said earmarks are “the gateway drug to overspending.”
Since 1991, Congress has approved 110,442 earmarks costing taxpayers $323.1 billion, including infamous boondoggles like Alaska’s “Bridge to Nowhere.” The proliferation of earmarking in the 2000s not only wasted tens of billions of tax dollars on frivolous projects, it ultimately led to jail time for members of Congress, their staff, and lobbyists. For his irresponsible efforts to bring back pork-barrel earmarks, Rep. Rooney is the May 2017 Porker of the Month. Read more about the Porker of the Month.