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WASHINGTON, DC- Congressional leaders gave taxpayers an early Christmas present Thursday when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid yielded to tremendous Tea Party opposition and shelved the pork-stuffed $1.3 trillion spending bill he had tried to ram through the lame-duck Congress.
“The death of this massive spending bill is a major victory for the Tea Party and all Americans concerned with the reckless expansion of Big Government,” said Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks. “Congress could not ignore the sweeping rejection of out-of-control spending in the 2010 midterm elections by sneaking this spending binge through the lame-duck session.”
The bill had measured at almost 2,000 pages long, and would have cost taxpayers an estimated $575.13 million per page. Several Senate Republicans had indicated they would support the bill, but FreedomWorks alerted and mobilized its grassroots members, who overwhelmingly opposed the wasteful spending. The outpouring of disapproval convinced many of those senators to side with principle over pork and withdraw their support of the measure.
The gargantuan bill was peppered with $8 billion in earmarks and pet projects, including:
- $522,000 for cranberry and blueberry disease and breeding in New Jersey
- $500,000 for oyster safety in Florida
- $413,000 for peanut research in Alabama
- $247,000 for virus-free wine grapes in Washington
- $208,000 for beaver management in North Carolina
- $300,000 for the Polynesian Voyaging Society in Hawaii
“We applaud Sen. Reid for acknowledging the voice of the American people and shelving this bill until after the Christmas break, when senators will have more time to ensure that the spending bill will reflect the small-government values Americans are demanding from our leaders,” Kibbe said. “We’re calling on all our senators and representatives, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, to commit to a 100 percent pork-free spending bill in 2011.”
“The people sent a message loud and clear to Congress this year: We are sick and tired of business as usual in Washington. We are watching and we’re not going away,” Kibbe added. “We’re proud to stand with the true fiscal conservatives in the Senate, including Republican Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who demanded that their colleagues read the bills before voting on them instead of rushing them through a lame-duck Congress with no consideration or oversight.”
FreedomWorks will be on the front lines in the war against excessive spending, and directing all members and grassroots activists to www.StopPorkSpending.com. There, constituents will be able to monitor their senators’ and representatives’ votes on spending bills, and remind them that if they’re unable to defend our freedoms and advocate sustainable economic policy, we will vote in somebody who will.