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Stimulus or Pork? What's In the $819 Billion Measure

CNBC.com
Monday, 2 Feb 2009 | 3:54 PM ET

The Obama administration pledged that there would be "no earmarks"—or pet projects—in the $819 billion economic stimulus plan.

But a closer look at the huge package of spending measures and tax cuts shows that many special items still got inserted into the measure.

CNBC.com

"It’s a little more hide and seek," says Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, a lobbying group. By no earmarks, he added, "Congress took it to mean don't put your name on the provision...Sometimes, it's difficult to determine who's asking for what."

The stimulus plan has already passed the House but is facing stiff opposition in the Senate.

Many Republicans and some Democrats have complained that a number of provisions in the package would not stimulate the economy and are little more than a liberal wish list. That includes $50 million to promote the arts and $335 million to educate people about sexually transmitted diseases.

The following is a list of some of the measures in the stimulus. It was supplied to the Citizens Against Government Waste by Sen. Tom Coburn (R.-Okla.).

  • $2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Dept. of Energy defunded last year because the project was inefficient
  • $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film
  • $650 million for the digital television (DTV) converter box coupon program
  • $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship)
  • $448 million for constructing the Dept. of Homeland Security headquarters
  • $248 million for furniture at the new Dept. of Homeland Security headquarters
  • $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees
  • $400 million for the CDC to screen and prevent STD's
  • $1.4 billion for a rural waste disposal programs
  • $125 million for the Washington, D.C. sewer system
  • $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities
  • $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion
  • $75 million for "smoking cessation activities"
  • $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges
  • $75 million for salaries of employees at the FBI
  • $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction
  • $500 million for flood reduction projects on the Mississippi River
  • $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas
  • $6 billion to turn federal buildings into "green" buildings
  • $500 million for state and local fire stations
  • $650 million for wildland fire management on Forest Service lands
  • $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities
  • $1.2 billion for "youth activities," including youth summer job programs
  • $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service
  • $412 million for CDC buildings and property
  • $500 million for building and repairing NIH facilities in Bethesda, MD
  • $160 million for "paid volunteers" at the Corporation for National and Community Service
  • $5.5 million for "energy efficiency initiatives" at the VA "National Cemetery Administration"
  • $850 million for Amtrak
  • $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint
  • $75M to construct a new "security training" facility for State Dept Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies.
  • $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems
  • $200 million in funding for the lease of alternative energy vehicles for use on military installations.

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