Congress Can’t Resist Temptation to Add Earmarks to Spending Bill

David Williams

December 27, 2011

When Congress passed the multi-thousand-page Omnibus spending bill right before their Christmas vacation, they forgot to tell taxpayers about the earmarks hidden in the bill. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) uncovered 89 earmarks worth $3 billion in the Defense section of the bill (click here to see the full list) despite the insistence of both political parties that that the bill was free of earmarks and the claim that Congress stuck to their self-imposed ban on earmarks.  Government watchdogs and taxpayers had very little opportunity to scrutinize the spending bill since it was released early Thursday (12/15) morning and voted on Friday (12/16) afternoon.  The initial links to the legislation only contained legislative language and not report details.  The release of the conference report details occurred after votes by the House and the Senate.  This was a shameful lack of transparency and fiscal responsibility.   What was more disappointing is that Congress showed some bit of fiscal restraint in the bill, but the inclusion of earmarks shows that the temptation of earmarks will always be present.  One (of the many) New Year’s resolutions Congress should make is to truly ban earmarks and not be able to vote any piece of legislation that contains earmarks.

 

None of the projects listed below received a budget request from the Department of Defense.

 

2012 Defense Earmarks – Conference Report

 

$255,000,000 Program Change (Abrams Upgrade Program – Procurement of Weapons and Tracked Combat Vehicles: Army)

$225,000,000 Operational loss replacement of one aircraft (C-17A (MYP) – Aircraft Procurement: Air Force)

$200,000,000 Defense Rapid Innovation Program (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Defense Wide)

$135,500,000 Traumatic Brain Injury and Psychological Health (Research and Development)

$125,000,000 Weather satellite follow on (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Air Force)

$120,000,000 Peer-Reviewed Breast Cancer Research Program (Research and Development)

$100,000,000 Classified Program USD(P) (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Defense Wide)

$100,000,000 Program increase (Next Generation Bomber) (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Air Force)

$89,000,000 Program Increase – HSAC unfunded requirement (SOF Combatant Craft Systems – Procurement: Defense Wide)

$80,000,000 Peer-Reviewed Prostate Cancer Research Program (Research and Development)

$77,000,000 Program Increase – SOF Deployable Nodes unfunded requirement (Communication Equipment & Electronics – Procurement: Defense Wide)

$72,000,000 Program Increase – unfunded requirement (SOF Tactical Radio Systems – Procurement: Defense Wide)

$69,400,000 David’s Sling (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Defense Wide)

$60,200,000 Arrow 3 (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Defense Wide)

$50,000,000 Armored HMMWV survivability enhancements (Light Tactical Wheeled Vehicles – Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Army)

$50,000,000 Army test ranges and facilities (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Army)

$50,000,000 Joint Warfighter Medical Research Program (Research and Development)

$50,000,000 Test and evaluation support (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Air Force)

$50,000,000 National Guard Counter-Drug Program State Plans (Drug Interdiction & Counter-Drug Activities)

$45,000,000 High Performance computing modernization (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Army)

$45,000,000 Enterprise – Land Mobile Radios infrastructure (Radio Systems – Procurement: Marine Corps)

$42,500,000 PATS-70 maintenance testers and spares (A-10 – Aircraft Procurement: Air Force)

$42,000,000 FAB-T alternative (FAB-T Alternative) (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Air Force)

$40,000,000 Impact Aid (Operation and Maintenance – Defense Wide)

$40,000,000 Alternative energy research (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Army)

$40,000,000 GPS IIF production support (Global Positioning (Space) – Missile Procurement: Air Force)

$31,500,000 Program Increase – Bone Marrow Registry Program (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Navy)

$30,000,000 Peer-Reviewed Orthopedic Research Program (Research and Development)

$30,000,000 Industrial base Innovation Fund (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Defense Wide)

$25,000,000 Defense acquisition (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Defense Wide)

$25,000,000 Responsive launch (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Air Force)

$22,000,000 Mixed loads capability (B-2 Squadrons) (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Air Force)

$20,000,000 University and Industry Research Centers (Historically Black Universities and Colleges) (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Army)

$20,000,000 Program increase – competitive based university research program (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Navy)

$20,000,000 Advanced Radar Innovation Fund [Electro Magnetic] (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Navy)

$20,000,000 Advanced Radar Innovation Fund [Advance Hawkeye] (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Navy)

$20,000,000 Central test and evaluation investment development (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Defense Wide)

$20,000,000 Space Situational Awareness (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Air Force)

$20,000,000 Combat Dragon II demonstration (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Navy)

$16,500,000 Missile technology (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Air Force)

$16,000,000 Program Increase (Military HIV Research – Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Army)

$16,000,000 Peer-reviewed neurotoxin exposure treatment (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Army)

$16,000,000 Peer-Reviewed Ovarian Cancer Research Program (Research and Development)

$15,000,000 Cyber threat discovery (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Defense Wide)

$15,000,000 Ship Self Defense Program Increase (Operation and Maintenance – Weapons Maintenance)

$15,000,000 Program Increase (Weapons and Munitions Technology – Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Army)

$15,000,000 Program increase – small business technology insertion (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Navy)

$15,000,000 Program increase – unfunded requirement (Special Operations Technology Development) (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Defense Wide)

$15,000,000 Restorative Transplantation Research Program (Research and Development)

$13,000,000 Program Increase – wound care research (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Navy)

$12,800,000 Peer-reviewed neurofibromatosis program (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Army)

$12,800,000 Peer-Reviewed Cancer Research Program (Research and Development)

$12,500,000 Unexploded ordnance and landmine detection research  (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Army)

$12,500,000 Silicon carbide research (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Army)

$12,000,000 Cyber security/information assurance research (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Army)

$12,000,000 Cyber security research (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Air Force)

$12,000,000 Peer-reviewed Alzheimer Research Program (Research and Development)

$10,200,000 Peer-Reviewed Lung Cancer Research Program (Research and Development)

$10,000,000 Office of Economic Adjustment (Operation and Maintenance – Defense Wide)

$10,000,000 Improved T-AH tender boats (Medical Support Equipment – Other Procurement: Navy)

$10,000,000 Program increase small business technology insertion (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Navy)

$10,000,000 Program increase – advanced aerospace sensors (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Air Force)

$10,000,000 Peer-Reviewed Gulf War Illness Research Program (Research and Development)

$10,000,000 Wounded Warrior Military Adaptive Sports Program (Operation and Maintenance)

$10,000,000 Hemorrhage Control Research Program (Research and Development)

$9,600,000 Peer-Reviewed Spinal Cord Research Program (Research and Development)

$8,500,000 Advanced materials research (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Air Force)

$8,000,000 Nanotechnology research (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Army)

$8,000,000 Global HIV/AIDS Prevention (Research and Development)

$7,500,000 Cybersecurity pilot programs adjustment (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Defense Wide)

$7,500,000 Program increase – Small business technology insertion (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Navy)

$7,200,000 Program Increase – tactical athlete program (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Navy)

$6,400,000 ALS Research Program (Research and Development)

$6,000,000 Peer-reviewed military burn research program (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Army)

$5,100,000 Program Increase – military dental research (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Navy)

$5,100,000 Autism Research Program (Research and Development)

$5,100,000 Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Research Program (Research and Development)

$5,000,000 Youth ChalleNGe (Operation and Maintenance – Defense Wide)

$5,000,000 Starbase Youth (Operation and Maintenance – Defense Wide)

$5,000,000 Program increase – ASW research (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Navy)

$4,500,000 Alcohol and Substance Abuse Disorders Research Program (Research and Development)

$4,500,000 Electronic warfare unfunded requirement (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Defense Wide)

$4,000,000 Young Marines – Drug Demand Reduction (Drug Interdiction and Counter-Drug Activities)

$3,800,000 Multiple Sclerosis Research Program (Research and Development)

$3,200,000 Bone Marrow Failure Disease Research Program (Research and Development)

$3,200,000 Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Research Program (Research and Development)

$3,200,000 Peer-Reviewed Vision Research Program (Research and Development)

$2,500,000 ICBM – DEM/VAL (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Air Force)

$2,000,000 File sanitization tool (Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Defense Wide)

 

TOTAL = $3,020,300,000