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Report: Pentagon bill has 115 earmarks

Dec. 11, 2011 at 2:34 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- A congressional report says earmarks are alive and well in this year's U.S. defense authorization bill.

The study conducted by the office of Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and obtained by The Washington Post tallied 115 spending proposals totaling $834 million.

The Post said Sunday McCaskill appeared particularly galled by the fact that 20 first-term Republicans had inserted pet projects into the bill after running vocal campaigns against government spending.

She accused the Republican freshmen of "flaunting" the GOP's self-proclaimed moratorium on earmarks and then refusing to acknowledge plugging them into the massive Pentagon bill.

"If you are going to tout the earmarks you received, why not remain transparent?" McCaskill told the Post. "For me, the entire thing is disappointing."

The newspaper said a spokesman for one of the members named in the report, Rep. Robert Schilling, R-Ill., denied that Schilling's proposal for $2.5 million for the Quad Cities Lab at the Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois was an earmark because the funding would be awarded through a competitive bid that might or might not go in Quad Cities' favor.

McCaskill's report was turned over Friday to the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee for further consideration.

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