Congress Serves Up $17.2 Billion in Pork

The group noted a number of notorious incidents with Murtha and pork in the last year, including an incident during the summer when Murtha lost his temper with a Republican congressman who attempted to challenge a $23 million earmark for a Murtha pet project, the National Drug Intelligence Center in Johnstown, Pa.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., claims Murtha told him, "I hope you don't have any earmarks in the defense appropriations bills because they are gone and you will not get any earmarks now and forever. … That's the way I do it!"

In September, Congressional Quarterly noted that the House Appropriations Committee, per new rules instituted by Democrats, listed its earmarks in its reports, though they were difficult to read and not easily searchable.

A reporter noted "the difficulty of piecing together which members got how much money for which projects in his bill," said the CQ article.

The article continued: "Murtha answered abruptly before walking away. 'So, you have to work,' he said. 'Tough s--.'"

As for this year's presidential candidates, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., is the porker of the pack, having secured 281 earmarks worth a whopping $296.2 million.

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., received 53 earmarks for his state, worth $97.4 million.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has never asked for an earmark.

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