Congressman Jim McDermott makes no excuses for spreading the pork. Earmark is a semi-naughty word these days but McDermott, like many of his Congressional colleagues, asks the rhetorical question: Who knows better than an elected representative how federal dollars should be best spent locally?
Give McDermott credit. He'ês open about the process. "Transparent" is the current term of art. His office released a detailed breakdown of $18.7 million for pet projects for constituents that he either attached to the current stopgap spending bill himself or that were earmarked by another member of the Washington State delegation and endorsed by McDermott .
This is the omnibus spending bill that President Obama described as 'êimperfect'ê because it's chock full of earmarks from both Democrats and Republicans. The president hates earmarks. But don't tell that to the Eritrean Association. Thanks to McDermott, that group is getting $285,000 in federal housing department funds to renovate a kitchen and bathrooms in a building owned by the association. How do you say 'êimperfect'ê in Eritrean?
The 32 McDermott earmarks range in size from $2.2 million for the Agricultural Research Services building on Washington State University'ês Pullman campus to $150,000 for emergency communications equipment for the city of Burien.
Here, in all its transparency, is the complete list, subdivided into five general budget categories.Commerce-Justice-Science: $1,330,000
$150,000 from the Department of Justice'ês (DOJ) COPS Program for the City of Burien'ês emergency communications.
$300,000 from DOJ'ês Byrne Grant Program for King County Sheriff's Gang Intervention.
$350,000 from DOJ'ês Byrne Grant Program for King County Sheriff's School Resource Officers.
$280,000 from DOJ'ês Office of Justice Programs for the King County Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
$249,000 from DOJ'ês Office of Justice Programs for the Women'ês Sports Foundation to prevent delinquency and promote well being among teens. Energy and Water: $7,632,000
$478,000 from Army Corps General Investigations for Elliot Bay Seawall.
$1,434,000 from Army Corps General Investigations for Puget Sound Nearshore.
$1,914,000 from Army Corps Construction General for Duwamish/Green River restoration.
$475,750 from the Department of Energy'ês (DOE) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Eneregy program (EERE) for biofuels research and development infrastructure.
$475,750 from DOE'ês EERE for urban wood-based bioenergy.
$1,427,250 from DOE'ês Office of Science for Blood-Brain Barrier Research.
$1,427,250 from DOE'ês Office of Science for Proton Beam. Transportation-Treasury-HUD: $2,660,000
$475,000 from the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) Bus and Bus Facilities for the Aurora Corridor project.
$237,500 from FTA'ês Bus and Bus Facilities for the King County Hybrid Bus project.
$237,500 from FTA'ês Bus and Bus Facilities for Community Transit.
$475,000 from the Department of Transportations (DOT) Transportation, Community and System Preservation (TCSP) program for the Aurora Corridor project.
$285,000 from the Department of Housing and Urban Development'ês (HUD) Economic Development Initiatives for the Eritrean Association.
$950,000 from HUD Economic Development Initiatives for King County Housing Authority. Labor-Health & Human Services-Education: $3,567,000
$143,000 from Department of Education'ês (DOE) Fund for the Improvement of Education for Children'ês Hospital.
$238,000 from DOE Fund for the Improvement of Education for Highline Public Schools.
$95,000 from DOE Fund for the Improvement of Education for Seattle Public Schools.
$285,000 from DOE Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education for Seattle University'ês Fostering Scholars program.
$333,000 from DOE Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education for UW-Bothell'ês nursing education program.
$571,000 from Health & Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for Highline-West Seattle mental health.
$951,000 from HHS HRSA for Northwest Hospital and Medical Center.
$951,000 from HHS HRSA for the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Agriculture: $3,506,000
$2,192,000 from the Agriculture Department'ês (USDA) Agriculture Research Service (ARS) for Washington State University'ês ARS Building.
$469,000 from USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) for WSU'ês Agriculture Competitiveness program.
$276,000 from USDA CSREES for WSU'ês Food Security program.
$248,000 from USDA CSREES for WSU'ês Organic Cropping program.
$98,000 from USDA CSREES for WSU'ês Perennial Wheat program.
$223,000 from USDA CSREES for the Wine-Grape Cultivars program.