Politics

Here Are The Nominees For Washington’s ‘Porker Of The Year‘

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It may be tough to pick the most wasteful federal official of the year from among Citizens Against Government Waste’s six nominees.

Among the six are the congressman who resurrected the Export-Import Bank, the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs who isn’t fixing his dysfunctional agency, and the IRS commissioner some in Congress seek to impeach.

Each month, CAGW nominates a government official for their particularly waste-inducing actions or ideas, and the public chooses the ‘Porker of the Year’ from six finalists in that pool. Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts won last year’s award.

“For a public official, being named Porker of the Month is a mark of shame, but being named Porker of the Year puts that individual in the Hall of Shame,” Curtis Kalin, CAGW spokesman told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “From scandal-ridden agency heads to members of Congress who defend the perpetual waste of taxpayer dollars, 2015’s Porker of the Year nominees represent the worst of Washington.”

Here are 2015’s nominees:

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen

Some in Congress are calling for Koskinen’s impeachment, claiming he consistently obstructed Congress’ investigation into the illegal IRS targeting of Tea Party and conservative non-profit applicants. Koskinen particularly infuriated members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in June when he repeatedly said no IRS officials committed wrongdoing after internal emails about the scandal mysteriously disappeared.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro

Castro couldn’t tell members of the House Committee on Financial Services in February how valuable is the Federal Housing Administration, which creates construction standards and underwrites loans for homebuilding. The Daily Caller News Foundation has frequently reported how HUD employees have wasted taxpayer funds without suffering any consequences.

Tennessee Republican Rep. Stephen Fincher

Fincher entered Congress as a Tea Party fiscal conservative and voted against the Export-Import Bank in 2012. But in 2015, he led the charge to reinstate and reform the bank many see as crony capitalism at its worst.

Republican Missouri Rep. Sam Graves

Graves tried to nix the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Recovery Audit Contractor program, which helps control CMS spending. The Government Accountability Office consistently lists Medicare and Medicaid as “high risk” programs, rife with waste, fraud and abuse.

Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald

McDonald has done little to fix the serious problems at the VA since being sworn-in nearly three years ago. An October 2014 investigation found a VA medical facility in Shreveport, Louisiana, had no “toothbrushes, toothpaste, pajamas, sheets and blankets” for veterans, but it did have solar panels, new televisions, and furniture. McDonald also did little to curb a boondoggle medical facility that received another $100 million on his watch after already going $1 billion over budget.

New Jersey Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone

Pallone attacked federal watchdogs after they discovered fake applicants were able to enroll in Obamacare with fictitious Social Security numbers. Pallone, the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, railed against GAO investigators for “trying to make (coverage) more difficult, or trying to highlight the difficulties.” He claimed the investigation was partisan, and said exposing fraud “is just not a priority.”

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.