Despite Dem Claims to the Contrary, Squeaker of the House Benefits from ‘Stimulus’ Funds at Expense of Middle Class Americans
Washington- After Nancy Pelosi pledged on national television that the so-called stimulus bill would be free of pork, a well-known project that epitomizes stimulus waste will receive taxpayer funds. A total of $16 million will be released for projects to improve mouse habitats in San Francisco, thanks to Carol Shea-Porter's support for the $787 billion monstrosity:
“The tiny mouse that became a hotly disputed symbol of wasteful spending in the congressional debate over the $787 billion economic stimulus bill has returned to pester House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“The Obama administration quietly announced last week that as much as $16.1 million from the stimulus program is going to save the San Francisco Bay area habitat of, among other things, the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse.” (S.A. Miller, “Agency Funds Pelosi’s Mouse Project,” Washington Times, 7/9/09)
Characteristically, Democrats offered false assurances to taxpayers that stimulus funds specifically would not be dedicated to San Francisco mice. According to a Pelosi spokesman:
“There are no federal wetland restoration projects in line to get funded in San Francisco... The idea that $30 million will be spent to save mice is a total fabrication.” (Greg Sargent, “Pelosi’s Office: Conservative Talking Point About $30 Million For Mice Is ‘Fabrication,’” The Plum Line, 2/12/09)
“Carol Shea-Porter and her fellow Democrats promised to create jobs get the economy back on track, but New Hampshire families have taken a back seat to a rat living in San Francisco,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “Democrats are giving a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘pet project.’ Carol Shea-Porter might think that throwing taxpayer dollars down a rat-hole is a priority, but New Hampshire voters only want to know one thing: Where are the jobs?”
Democrats claimed that money for mouse habitats wasn’t in the stimulus bill even though millions of dollars were clearly marked for allocation by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):
“On Thursday, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) took to the House floor to make a different point: the money for the restoration isn't actually in the bill.
“‘There are no earmarks in this bill. There is no earmark for rats in San Francisco. There is money that goes to the EPA and the Department of the Interior for cleanup of wetlands and maintaining of wetlands and apparently this is on a list of ready-to-go projects but it, like many others, must compete within the departments for that money. It is not a specific earmark within the bill,’ he said.” (Ryan Grim, “Pelosi's Mouse Explained: What's Actually In The Stimulus Bill,” Huffington Post, 2/12/09)
Pelosi herself pledged no pork in the stimulus bill:
CNN’S WOLF BLITZER: Can you assure the American people that there will be no pork barrel spending, none of these earmarks, these bridges to nowhere, these phony deals that are going on – that legislators won’t be able to bury stuff for their districts – the stuff that’s been so highly publicized?
PELOSI [raising right hand]: I can pledge to you that no earmark – or any of that, any description you want to make of it – will be in the bill that passes the house.
According to a NOAA press release, the agency has dedicated $16.1 million in stimulus funds to two separate San Francisco wetlands restoration projects:
· San Francisco South Salt Pond Restoration (San Francisco, Calif.) – $7.6 million
· American Canyon Salt Pond Restoration (San Francisco, Calif.) – $8.5 million