For Immediate Release


Keith Rutter
Phone: 202-347-1122

Groups Strongly Urge Gates to Curb Congressional Earmarks

WASHINGTON - Today the Center for Defense Information (CDI), National Taxpayers
Union (NTU), Project On Government Oversight (POGO), and Taxpayers for
Common Sense sent a letter
to Defense Secretary Robert Gates urging him to make it clear to
Congress that earmarks in the proposed Department of Defense (DoD)
appropriations bills cannot be tolerated.  The letter particularly
raises concerns about Congress's practice of earmarking funds from
Operations and Maintenance (O&M) accounts that are needed for
troops in the field.

"The appropriations process has demonstrated that Congress is not
committed to basing defense spending on the best interests of our
national security," said the groups. The letter cites concerns with 10
unneeded C-17 aircraft as being among the 800 earmarks that Congress
has prioritized over the stated priorities of the Pentagon.

The Defense Appropriations bill is frequently used by Members of
Congress as a wish list to Santa to bring money and contracts back to
their districts. Taxpayers for Common Sense tracks these earmarks in
its database, which can be found at


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