The Omnibus Arrives 

Posted: 11:27 pm Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

By Jamie Dupree

I have been talking about it for weeks, and yesterday it was finally released.  A 1,924 page behemoth known in the lexicon of Capitol Hill as the “Omnibus” budget bill, chock full of thousands of home state budget earmarks.

Even though it was championed by Democrats, the Omnibus is filled with earmarks for both parties – yes, you read that correctly.

In fact, if you break down the number of earmarks for each Senator, you will see that the top two earmarkers in terms of pure numbers are the two GOP Senators from Mississippi, Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker.  Cochran happens to be the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

So here’s the list of Senators and the number of earmarks I found for each in this Omnibus – so find your Senator and see what they did in this bill.

Cochran (R-MS) 230
Wicker (R-MS) 199
Murray (D-WA) 172
Harkin (D-IA) 152
Reid (D-NV) 129
Menendez (D-NJ) 123
Feinstein (D-CA) 121
Lautenberg (D-NJ) 120
Lincoln (D-AR) 114
Inouye (D-HI) 113
Schumer (D-NY) 106
Johnson (D-SD) 105
Landrieu (D-LA) 104
Specter (D-PA) 103
Pryor (D-AR) 96
Levin (D-MI) 93
Stabenow (D-MI) 91
Boxer (D-CA) 90
Brown (D-OH) 87
Grassley (R-IA) 86
Bingaman (D-NM) 86
Durbin (D-IL) 86
Akaka (D-HI) 83
Wyden (D-OR) 83
Cardin (D-MD) 79
Merkley (D-OR) 79
Gillibrand (D-NY) 79
Bond (R-MO) 78
Bennett (R-UT) 76
Casey (D-PA)   76
Udall (D-NM) 73
Reed (D-RI) 70
Kerry (D-MA) 69
Cantwell (D-WA) 69
Hagan (D-NC) 69
Voinovich (R-OH) 68
Klobuchar (D-MN) 68
Rockefeller (D-WV) 67
Dodd (D-CT) 66
Mikulski (D-MD) 65
Tester (D-MT) 65
Lieberman (ID-CT) 64
Hutchison (R-TX) 63
Baucus (D-MT) 62
Dorgan (D-ND) 60
Warner (D-VA) 60
Webb (D-VA) 58
Franken (D-MN) 58
Collins (R-ME) 57
Leahy (D-VT) 56
Murkowski (R-AK) 55
Whitehouse (D-RI) 55
Kohl (D-WI) 54
Conrad (D-ND) 52
Vitter (R-LA) 48
Cornyn (R-TX) 45
Snowe (R-ME) 44
Nelson (D-FL) 43
Chambliss (R-GA) 42
Crapo (R-ID) 41
Risch (R-ID) 41
Bennet (D-CO) 40
Brownback (R-KS) 39
Carper (D-DE) 39
Burr (R-NC) 38
Begich (D-AK) 37
McConnell (R-KY) 35
Roberts (R-KS) 35
Sanders (I-VT) 33
Shelby (R-AL) 32
Inhofe (R-OK) 32
Shaheen (D-NH) 32
Alexander (R-TN) 30
Udall (D-CO) 30
Lugar (R-IN) 29
Graham (R-SC) 27
Thune (R-SD) 26
Isakson (R-GA) 24
Nelson (D-NE) 23
Sessions (R-AL) 21
Bunning (R-KY) 21
Ensign (R-NV) 20
Gregg (R-NH) 13
Barrasso (R-WY) 4
Enzi (R-WY) 3
Hatch (R-UT) 1
Bayh (D-IN) 1
Corker (R-TN) 1
Brown (R-MA) 1
McCain (R-AZ) 0
Feingold (D-WI) 0
Kyl (R-AZ) 0
DeMint (R-SC) 0
Coburn (R-OK) 0
McCaskill (D-MO) 0
Johanns (R-NE) 0
LeMieux (R-FL) 0
Manchin (D-WV) 0
Coons (D-DE) 0
Kirk (R-IL) 0

When you take a long look at those earmark numbers, you can see that more Democrats are up on the high end in terms of earmarks, with a lot more Republicans down here on the low end of the scale.

The projects include the usual smattering of things that make some lawmakers go nuts, like $300,000 for the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

“I’m not making it up,” said Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who again took to the floor on Tuesday to denounce the thousand of earmarks in this bill from both parties.

“The American people said just 42 days ago, ‘Enough!'” said McCain.  “Are we tone deaf?  Are we stricken with amnesia?”

Republicans vowed to block the Omnibus any way possible, as McCain and other said they would make the reading clerks read every page on the Senate floor, which would take hours and hours.

It’s still possible that Democrats might have 60 votes to advance this bill.  If so, it would be a huge victory for Democrats, and a big time setback for the Tea Party, which is beginning to look like it has already ridden off into the sunset.

If you would like to see the all the earmarks involved in this bill, here is a set of handy links to get you to all the information you could ever want about the budget:

EARMARKS PART 1 – How about a 98 page list of earmarks for Labor & Health programs? http://is.gd/iKI18

EARMARKS PART 2 – Then there is the 90 page list of Transportation & Housing earmarks http://is.gd/iKIgU

EARMARKS PART 3 – There is the short four page list for Military Construction  http://is.gd/iKIoq

EARMARKS PART 4 – Here is the 16 page list of earmarks for Interior/Environment programs http://is.gd/iKIt2

EARMARKS PART 5 – Check out the 3 pages of Homeland Security earmarks from FEMA, etc http://is.gd/iKIAQ

EARMARKS PART 6 – And add in the 11 pages of earmarks for Agricultural programs (pdf) http://is.gd/iKIIW

EARMARKS PART 7 – Also the five pages of earmarks in the Financial Services bill (pdf) http://is.gd/iKIRb

EARMARKS PART 8 – And there are 29 pages of earmarks from Commerce/State/Justice programs  http://is.gd/iKJ4X

EARMARKS PART 9 – And don’t forget the 23 pages of Energy & Water project earmarks  http://is.gd/iKJiU

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