Infrastructure, Research Benefit from 2011 Earmark Requests
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West Virginia is already feeling the loss of one of its elder statesmen in the earmark process, but the state is still receiving millions that will help improve infrastructure, research at state colleges and universities, and law enforcement.
Out of 50 states, Washington D.C., and the nation’s territories West Virginia ranked 39th in total earmark spending requests. Added together the state’s congressional delegation requested 313 earmarks totaling over $905 million, or approximately $497.57 per person.
This is according to a database created by a partnership between Taxpayers for Common Sense, WashingtonWatch.com, and Taxpayers Against Earmarks. The database includes over 39,000 congressional earmark requests for Fiscal Year 2011, totaling $130 billion.
Only three of the state’s congressional delegation submitted earmark requests. These are Reps. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.), and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va). Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) followed a earmark ban voted for by House Republicans last March. Only Reps. Ron Paul (R-Texas), Anh Cao (R-La.), Don Young (R-Alaska) and Henry Brown (R-S.C.) violated the ban and requested earmarks.
Most notably the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd was missing from those requesting earmarks. Byrd, the longest serving senator in congressional history, passed away on June 28, 2010. Last year Byrd requested 85 earmarks totaling over $251 million; the largest number of earmarks requested by a senator for Fiscal Year 2010. Byrd’s colleague, Sen. Rockefeller beat that total this fiscal year, requesting 111 earmarks, totaling over $379 million. Rockefeller came in 65th out of 100 senators.
Rep. Mollohan, the top earmarker last year among the state’s fellow representatives, was surpassed by Rep. Rahall this year in dollars. Mollohan requested 126 earmarks totaling over $146 million, while Rahall requested 76 earmarks totaling over $380 million. Rahall ranked in the top 50 for earmark requests. Mollohan, first elected in 1983, lost reelection in the May Democratic primary to State Sen. Mike Oliverio, who lost in the general election to Republican David McKinley.
Rahall’s top five earmark requests include:
- $73 million for construction on the New River Parkway
- $38 million for construction on U.S. 52.
- $38 million for construction on the King Coal Highway
- $20 million for construction at the intersection of the Coalfields Expressway and the King Coal Highway
- Approximately $20 million for construction on the Greenup Locks and Dam, five miles below Greenup, Ky., on the Ohio River.
Mollohan’s top five earmark requests include:
- $10 million for the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown, W.Va. for training energy scientists and engineers.
- Approximately $9 million for a Hancock County Public Service District sewer extension project.
- Approximately $5 million for the Environmental Research Center at West Virginia University.
- Approximately $4 million for for clean water, wastewater, and storm sewer systems in Wetzel, Doddridge, Ritchie, and Marshall counties in West Virginia.
- $4 million for the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Research Program at WVU.
Rockefeller’s top five earmark requests include:
- Approximately $17 million for training West Virginia rural water operators.
- $15 million for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) Data Digitization Program
- $15 million for construction of the West Virginia Army National Guard‘s Readiness Center in Holden, W.Va.
- $15 million for construction on Corridor H.
- $13 million for the Smart Sensor Supercomputer Center in Wheeling, W.Va.
Posted under Budget, Earmarks, Featured, Federal, Finances, Legislation, News, Regulations, Transparency, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Waste.
Tags: Alan Mollohan, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Earmarks, Jay Rockefeller, National Energy Technology Laboratory, Nick Rahall, Robert Byrd, Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia
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