Analyst: War supplement loaded with pork

May 23, 2005 at 7:01 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 23 (UPI) -- The Senate's version of the 2005 emergency war supplement passed in April contains millions in "pork projects," Defense News reported Monday.

Winslow Wheeler, a defense analyst with the Center for Defense Information, writing in an article for the weekly newspaper, said the $87 billion supplemental -- created to fund the essentials of the Iraq and Afghan war efforts -- included $500,000 to study wind energy in North and South Dakota, $20 million for a fish hatchery in Montana, $26 million to move nuclear materials from New Mexico to Nevada, and $4 million for West Virginia's Upper Tygart Watershed Project.

Wheeler said it is the first of the four war supplementals passed by Congress so far - costing more than $200 billion, according to the House Budget Committee -- that contained non-war related special interest projects.

Wheeler, a long-time aide in Congress, is a critic of the use of supplementals to fund the ongoing wars. He says they conceal the true size of defense spending, and give Congress a mechanism to shift regular Pentagon business into emergency spending bills and load the traditional budget with special projects.

"While touting their support for the troops in combat and their families, the Senate is literally advocating raids on war-fighting accounts to pay for pork," Wheeler wrote.

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