The Sunlight Foundation comes through with a dagger of a story:
A day after Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., and ten other House members compromised on their pro-life position to deliver the necessary yes-votes to pass health care reform, the “Stupak 11″ released their fiscal year 2011 earmark requests, which total more than $4.7 billion–an average of $429 million worth of earmark requests for each lawmaker.
The eleven members were the focus of high level pressure by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats because they threatened to vote against the health care reform bill, whichpassed the House on Sunday, March 21, by a seven vote margin. Granting earmark requests are one of the ways leadership can encourage members to vote their way.
Stupak requested more than $578 million in earmarks, including $125 million for a replacement lock on the Sault Ste. Marie, $25.6 million to build a federal courthouse in Marquette, Mich., $15 million to repaint the Mackinac Bridge and $800,000 to preserve the Quincy Mining Company smelter near Hancock in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
In 2009, the first year that members disclosed earmark requests, most members requested far more earmarks than were funded by the Appropriations Committee, which approves or denies requests. According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, Stupak’s funded earmarks–including those he requested jointly with other members–totaled $28.6 million.
Despite a newly enacted ban on earmarks to for-profit firms, Stupak requested a total of $52 million for companies in his district out of the $65.9 million he requested from the Defense Appropriations bill.