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CAGW Names CFPB Director Richard Cordray July Porker of the Month

(Washington, D.C.) Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray its July Porker of the Month because of his gross mismanagement of the CFPB’s headquarters renovation budget, which has ballooned by almost 300 percent from a projected initial cost of $55 million to $215.8 million, and for the agency’s inability to produce a single shred of documentation related to the renovation. The CFPB was created in 2011 as part of the Dodd-Frank Act. One of the agency’s objectives is to “promote financial education,” which is ironic given its failure to control costs. The CFPB has been called “unaccountable and unrestrained,” which is also an apt description of its handling of the building renovation. The first revised estimate went from $55 million in the CFPB’s fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget justification to $95 million in April 2013. It was revised a month later to $111.4 million, and then to $145.1 million in July 2013. According to a June 30, 2014 Federal Reserve Board of Governors’ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) letter, “Based on the CFPB’s assessed requirements as of June 5, 2014, we currently estimate all-in costs to total approximately $215.8 million” and “a sound […]

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CAGW Names Sen. Lisa Murkowski March Porker of the Month

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) honored Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) as its March Porker of the Month for her support of a parochial pet project involving the construction of a 38-mile dead-end  “Road to Nowhere.” Sen. Murkowski has personally, and so far unsuccessfully, campaigned for a road to connect salmon canneries in King Cove with the neighboring Cold Bay and its airport. In a March 11, 2014 Los Angeles Times op-ed, former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt described the original push for the project.  In the 1990s, Sen. Murkowski’s father, former Alaska Senator Frank Murkowski (R), aided and abetted by partner in pork, the late Sen. Ted Stevens (R) colluded to scrounge taxpayer money to build a gravel road connecting the two towns in order to expedite the transportation of seafood.  Instead of building the road, the Clinton Administration and Alaska’s senators agreed in 1998 to use taxpayer money to purchase a state-of-the-art hovercraft, touted at the time as a way to expedite medical evacuations.  At $37.5 million, the hovercraft (along with port terminals, a road to the hovercraft terminal, and an upgraded telemedicine facility) was deemed more cost-effective than the road, which was estimated at […]

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CAGW Names Rep. Doris Matsui Porker of the Month

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) is speechless after naming Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) as its September 2013 Porker of the Month for her increasingly vocal support of a proposed expansion of the Lifeline Program, popularly referred to as “Obamaphones,” to include broadband connections. The program was created in 1985 to provide discounts on only landline telephone services for qualified, low-income individuals, and was expanded to include pre-paid wireless service plans in 2005. Lifeline is bankrolled by the Universal Service Fund (USF) fee, which is included in every monthly telephone bill as a hidden tax. Lifeline Program spending has increased from $667 million in 2000 to $2.1 billion in 2012, even though 96.2 percent of Americans have the ability to access phone service. Rep. Matsui is calling for further expansion of the program to provide discounted broadband services at taxpayer expense, even though these services are being provided to low-income Americans through private-sector initiatives such as EveryoneOn’s Connect2Compete, and Comcast’s Internet Essentials. A 2010 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report revealed drastic increases in demand for discounted wireless services through the Lifeline Program, as well as multiple instances of program fraud and abuse. Recipients of wireless phones were using […] . . . → Read More: CAGW Names Rep. Doris Matsui Porker of the Month . . . → Read More: CAGW Names Rep. Doris Matsui Porker of the Month

CAGW Names Reps. Donna Edwards and Eddie Bernice Johnson Porkers of the Month

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) is over the moon about its July 2013 Porkers of the Month: Reps. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), who co-sponsored H.R. 2617, the Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act, to establish the Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park on the Moon. Apparently not content to confine their legislating to this planetoid, Reps. Edwards and Johnson have gone where no member of Congress has gone before. H.R. 2617 would “preserve and protect for the benefit of present and future generations the nationally significant historic sites associated with the Historical Park.” In addition, the bill would require the Secretary of the Interior to submit the lunar landing site to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization for designation as a World Heritage Site. The costs of the park are not known, but they would likely be out of this world. While it is typical for members of Congress to imagine themselves with celestial powers, the legality of establishing a national park outside of the United States, let alone on Earth’s largest satellite, is unclear at best. And the notion of improving upon the moon’s natural preservation facilities, such as […] . . . → Read More: CAGW Names Reps. Donna Edwards and Eddie Bernice Johnson Porkers of the Month . . . → Read More: CAGW Names Reps. Donna Edwards and Eddie Bernice Johnson Porkers of the Month

CAGW Names Sen. Mary Landrieu Porker of the Month

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) its May 2013 Porker of the Month for her sour comments on sugar reform in the Senate version of the 2013 farm bill. The United States sugar program, a misguided relic of the 1930s that CAGW has opposed for many years, arbitrarily protects a select few large and prosperous sugar producers at the expense of U.S. consumers and manufacturers of sugar-containing products and their workers. In the days leading up to the final farm bill vote in the Senate, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) proposed amendment #925 in an effort to reform import quotas and domestic production limits on sugar that have caused American consumers to pay an average of more than twice the world price for the product since 1982. On May 22, Sen. Landrieu made her opposition to commonsense reform clear, stating that she would focus on “protecting and supporting the sugar program that functions effectively to balance the amount of sugar coming into our country at no subsidy to the taxpayer,” adding, “yes, the price of a candy bar might be a penny or two higher, but […] . . . → Read More: CAGW Names Sen. Mary Landrieu Porker of the Month . . . → Read More: CAGW Names Sen. Mary Landrieu Porker of the Month

CAGW Names FHA Commissioner Galante Porker of the Month

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner Carol Galante its April 2013 Porker of the Month for her agency’s apparent desire to rekindle the financial crisis of 2008 by developing new ways to interfere with mortgage markets. Undeterred by the lessons of the housing collapse and the spectacular failures of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Commissioner Galante made clear on April 2 in The Washington Post her view that the federal government knows which borrowers should or should not be approved for a mortgage: “There are lots of creditworthy borrowers that are below 720 or 700 – all the way down the credit-score spectrum,” said Galante, adding, “It’s important you look at the totality of that borrower’s ability to pay.” In a staggering display of short-term memory loss, housing officials within the Obama administration like Commissioner Galante are bending over backwards to push banks to make bad loans again. Specifically, Commissioner Galante’s FHA has, according to the Post, been “urging the Justice Department to provide assurance to banks … that they will not face legal or financial recriminations if they make loans to riskier borrowers who meet government standards but later default,” […] . . . → Read More: CAGW Names FHA Commissioner Galante Porker of the Month . . . → Read More: CAGW Names FHA Commissioner Galante Porker of the Month