Earmark foe collects a few for his district

Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, the chairman of the House Republican Study Committee, is alone among his top conservative allies in securing local earmarks, a review of recent fiscal 2007 appropriations bills indicates.

Pence's efforts demonstrate that while he is an outspoken national figure and advocate for conservative causes -- such as overhauling the earmark process -- it has not stopped him from securing funding for local projects. While voting against the $139.7 billion fiscal 2007 Transportation-Treasury spending bill last week, for example -- and voting for a series of amendments authored by his RSC colleague Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona to strip other members' earmarks -- Pence secured at least two of his own projects.

They include $500,000 for the "Transit Acquisition and Intermodal Facility Project" in his state, listed among dozens of bus and bus facilities grants, and $250,000 for construction of a park in Portland, Ind.

Pence's spokesman confirmed that the projects were his but declined to provide justifications for them. "Mr. Pence stands by his earmark requests," he said.

A spokesman for the Indiana Department of Transportation said the intermodal facility funds were part of a comprehensive state economic development plan. Portland's mayor, Bruce Hosier, said the money is part of a project involving trails, an education center, a meadow, pond and amphitheatre at the new park.

"When it comes to personalized service, Congressman Pence and his staff are second to no one," Hosier said. "They are very engaged in what you're trying to do."

Pence also secured earmarks in the $141.9 billion fiscal 2007 Labor-HHS measure, which has yet to reach the floor. Those include $200,000 each for Ball State University's Center for School Innovation in Muncie, Ind., and to the Madison County Community Health Center in Anderson Ind., for an electronic medical records system. He also secured $100,000 for Ivy Tech Community College's Columbus, Ind., campus for cybersecurity training.

Pence's spokesman said while his boss "has been an advocate for earmark reform" he has never suggested doing away with the entire process. When asked about his votes in favor of Flake's amendments stripping funds for earmarks important to other lawmakers, Pence's spokesman replied: "He found Mr. Flake's arguments persuasive."

Flake called for votes on two earmarks in House Appropriations Chairman Jerry Lewis' district, including funds for a municipal pool and an athletic facility, as well as earmarks for Xerox Corp. facilities in upstate New York as well as for the West Virginia steel town of Weirton, represented by Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-W.Va.

Flake has not requested earmarks for the last several years since he was upbraided by appropriators on the House floor. Pence's other top RSC allies -- Reps. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, John Shadegg of Arizona, and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, author of the line-item veto legislation on the floor this week -- did not ask for earmarks this year, aides said.

Pence has not issued a press release trumpeting projects in his district since the massive $286.4 billion highway bill was enacted last year. Hurricane Katrina hit soon after, and Pence came out with his "Operation Offset" plan to pay for the rebuilding effort, including giving up his own highway bill projects.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.