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Washington (CNN) -- The defense bill that just passed the House of Representatives includes a back-door fund that lets individual members of Congress funnel millions of dollars into projects of their choosing.
This is happening despite a congressional ban on earmarks -- special, discretionary spending that has funded Congress' pet projects back home in years past, but now has fallen out of favor among budget-conscious deficit hawks.
So what, they borrowed only like 5$ right? Let's check over he-
Under the cloak of a mysteriously-named "Mission Force Enhancement Transfer Fund," Congress has been squirreling away money -- like $9 million for "future undersea capabilities development," $19 million for "Navy ship preliminary design and feasibility studies," and more than $30 million for a "corrosion prevention program."
Okay, that's kind of tame for earmarks. I bet it isn't too ba-
Politics: Loophole for earmarks?
Roughly $1 billion was quietly transferred from projects listed in the president's defense budget and placed into the "transfer fund." This fund, which wasn't in previous year's defense budgets (when earmarks were permitted), served as a piggy bank from which committee members were able to take money to cover the cost of programs introduced by their amendments.
And take they did.
More than $600 million went to a wide number of projects, many of which appear to directly benefit some congressional districts over others.
Okay you son of a bitches, you aren't even trying to hide this.
For example, that $9 million for "future undersea capabilities development" was requested by Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Connecticut, whose district happens to be home to General Dynamics Electric Boat, a major supplier of submarines and other technologies to the U.S. Navy.
And the $19 million for "Navy ship preliminary design and feasibility studies"? Rep. Steve Palazzo, R-Mississippi, asked for that. His district's largest employer is Ingalls Shipbuilding -- a major producer of surface combat ships for the Navy.
Nothing in these expenditures appears to be illegal, but critics say they still may violate the spirit, if not the language, of the earmark ban.
The $30 million Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Ohio, set aside for corrosion prevention could go far to help tackle the Defense Department's corrosion problem, estimated to cost the military more than $15 billion a year.
However, there are two things worth considering: Sutton's request comes on top of the $10 million already included in the bill for corrosion related programs, and Sutton's district is home to The University of Akron, which created the country's first bachelor's degree program for corrosive engineering in 2008.
Then, on May 9, two days before the defense bill mark-up, it was announced that the Defense Department had given the University of Akron $11 million to build its new "National Center for Education and Research in Corrosion and Materials Performance."
Yes. A University basically invented a engineering field so narrow that it would technically be classified as "plumber" and immediately got fed 21 million dollars from a pork happy Senate that can't even follow it's own fucking rules. And I bet none of them are counting this shit as part of the actual budget, much like how the cost of the Iraq war was hidden before.
This is like.. okay, you guys undid your previous ban. But now you aren't even bothering to get rid of your ban, you're just fucking ignoring it.
tl;dr 20 years from now, this entire damn country is going to be funded through Defense Budget(tm) loopholes at this rate.