White House 'Duplicity' Over Pork Spending Draws GOP Ire
ABC News blog
Justin Rood
June 28, 2007

Move over, bacon.

Just a few months after blasting the congressional practice of diverting millions in taxpayer dollars to pet projects, President Bush has slipped into current legislation more than 100 so-called "earmarks" worth over $1 billion -- including nearly $6 million for work on the White House.

The provisions appear to draw a stark contrast with the president's harsh words for earmarks and their proponents in his State of the Union speech in January.

"These special interest items are often slipped into bills at the last hour -- when not even C-SPAN is watching," Bush said. The president proclaimed that "the time has come to end this practice," and urged Congress to cut the number and cost of earmarks "at least in half" this year.

The president's earmarks, for projects including national park improvements, land purchases and new government facilities, have drawn unusual on-the-record criticism from Republican lawmakers, who typically eschew public displays of disaffection with the White House.

"It would appear the administration likes earmarks from their perspective," Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala.,  told the Hill newspaper, which first reported the White House earmarks. Aderholt is a member of the House Appropriations Committee. He termed the White House stance as "inconsistent," though another Republican, Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho, told the paper it was "duplicity."

The White House disagrees.

"There's a striking difference here" between White House earmarks and congressional earmarks, said administration spokesman Sean Kevelighan. The White House chooses earmarks "[in] a way that is competitive or merit-based," while Congress tends to choose earmarks "based on geography, seniority and special interests," he said.

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