"Wasteful and Non-Stimulative Spending in the House-Senate Conference Report (Note: Many of these items are typically debated and funded through the regular budget process. Including these items in an emergency “stimulus” spending bill plays an Enron-style shell game with taxpayer dollars. We’re borrowing from the next generation to avoid tough budget choices today.)
- $8 billion for high-speed railway (including an earmark for an Los Angeles to Las Vegas MagLev)
- $1 billion for the “FutureGen” not-ready-for-primetime near zero emission plant in Illinois
- $53.6 billion for the “state stabilization” slush funds
- $1.3 billion for Amtrak
- $24 million for USDA buildings and rent
- $176 million for renovating Agricultural Research Service buildings
- $290 million for flood prevention activities
- $50 million for watershed rehabilitation
- $1.4 billion for wastewater disposal programs
- $295 million for administrative expenses associated with food stamp program
- $1 billion for the 2010 Census
- $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges and libraries
- $650 million for the DTV converter box coupon program
- $360 million for construction of NIST buildings
- $830 million for NOAA research and facilities
- $2 billion for Byrne JAG program
- $10 million to combat Mexican gunrunners
- $125 million for rural communities to combat drug crimes
- $1 billion for the COPS program
- $1 billion for NASA
- $300 million to purchase scientific instruments for colleges and museums
- $400 million for equipment and facilities at the NSF
- $3.7 billion to conduct "green" renovations on military bases
- $375 million for Mississippi River projects
- $10 million for urban canals
- $5 billion for weatherizing buildings
- $2 billion to develop advanced batteries for hybrid cars
- $3.4 billion for fossil energy research (possibly including an earmark for FutureGen)
- $5.1 billion for environmental cleanup around military bases
- $5.5 billion for "green" federal buildings
- $300 million for "green" cars for federal employees
- $20 million for IT upgrades at the Small Business Administration
- $200 million to design and furnish DHS headquarters
- $210 million for State and local fire stations
- $125 million to restore trails and abandoned mines
- $146 million for trail maintenance at National Park Service sites
- $140 million for volcano monitoring systems
- $600 million for the EPA Superfund environmental cleanup program
- $200 million to clean up leaking underground storage tanks
- $500 million for forest health and wildfire prevention
- $25 million for the Smithsonian Institution
- $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts
- $1.2 billion for "youth activities" (for "youth" up to 24 years old)
- $500 million earmark for NIH facilities in Bethesda, MD
- $1 billion for Head Start
- $32 million for home-delivered nutrition services
- $160 million for volunteer programs at the Corporation for National and Community Service
- $500 million earmark for the SSA National Computer Center in MD
- $220 million for the International Boundary and Water Commission, U.S. and Mexico"
In the meantime, keep an eye out on Sen. Specter. He may be our last hope for shutting down this bill. Collins and Snowe are lost causes. Gregg is back and voting with the GOP. Kennedy isn't coming back again to vote due to his health. Only one of the three original GOP switchers needs to come back to the fold. I think it could be Specter.
Why? Because of the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Clinical Effectiveness Research.
The FCCCCER is deep within the pages of the Stimulus. Its goal is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. This program is an idea straight out of Tom Daschle's playbook. Days ago when confronted with information about this program on Fox News, Specter seems open to voting against the Stimulus if this program maintains in the bill. Check it out.
UPDATE: Sen. Voinovich sent a press release out this afternoon announcing that he will not be supporting the Stimulus when it comes to the Senate floor. Voino had been a bit of a concern among some Republicans based on his efforts to work with the Senate Dem leadership, but his debt-hawk roots seem to have shown their colors in the end.
From his release: "Sen. Voinovich worked closely with a group of Senate Republicans who hoped to forge a bipartisan compromise with the Democrats. This group identified roughly $300 billion in spending that arguably does not belong in this bill. These programs generally fall into two categories: those that are worthy federal programs but should compete with other federal priorities in the regular budget process; and those that are not even a federal responsibility at all."
Props to Voino for giving it a shot. That's more than the Democrat leadership can say.