TPA Uncovers $2.1 Billion in Defense Earmarks: Taxpayer watchdog group first to report violation of earmark ban

David Williams

June 23, 2011

(Alexandria, VA) – Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) today uncovered 61 earmarks worth $2.1 billion in the 2012 House Defense Appropriations Bill, despite a ban on earmarks passed last year. TPA is the first to report these appropriated funds.

“I’m baffled as to why some of the funds are being included in a defense bill,” said Williams. “It seems as though the defense budget has become the island of misfit earmarks. The American people need their leaders to take responsibility for their actions, cut wasteful spending, and fulfill their promise to end earmarks once and for all.”

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed bills in 2010 banning the use of earmarks, and Republicans called upon President Obama to veto any bills containing money for legislators’ pet projects. Despite these actions, TPA has uncovered billions of dollars in earmarks since the supposed ban.

“When Congress passed the earmark ban last November, it was supposed to signal the end of business as usual in Washington,” said David Williams, president of TPA. “Taxpayers want to know if Congress is dedicated to expanding government or to protecting taxpayers. The recent move to add billions in earmarks, while simultaneously taking credit for minimal spending cuts, is shameful.”

The earmarks found in the 2012 House Defense Appropriations Bill include:

  • $50,000,000 for the National Guard Counter-Drug Program State Plans (Drug Interdiction & Counter-Drug Activities);
  • $15,000,000 increase for small business technology insertion for the new design of the SSN;
  • $13,000,000 increase for wound care research;
  • $10,000,000 increase for small business technology insertion for the Littoral Combat Ship program;
  • $10,000,000 for the Office of Economic Adjustment;
  • $7,500,000 increase for small business technology insertion for Surface ASW Combat System Integration;
  • $5,000,000 for the Youth Challenge program;
  • $5,000,000 for the Starbase Youth program; and
  • $5,100,000 increase for military dental

For a full list of earmarks found in the bill, click here .