Politics

Joni Ernst Bestows Wasteful Government Spending Award To The Department Of Defense

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Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst awarded her monthly “Squeal Award” to the Pentagon on Thursday for wasteful government spending.

Ernst gave the award to the Department of Defense for the month of May partly because of its purchase of 25 coffee cups valued at $1,220 each. The “Squeal Award” is part of the “Make ‘Em Squeal” campaign, which is meant to “cut wasteful spending and make Washington squeal,” according to Ernst’s website. (RELATED: ‘I’m Not For Socialism’: GOP, Democrats Clash Over The Green New Deal On Senate Floor)

“We both know that Washington’s reckless spending is spiraling out of control, and today, we are more than $22 trillion dollars in debt!,” Ernst’s website says. “That means every Iowan’s share of the national debt exceeds $67,000.”


The Depart of Defense also received the title for a list of other reasons, including:

  • A $209,000 Office of Naval Research (ONR) grant given towards helping determine the sociability of 18 different dog breeds.
  • The Air Force conducting a $25,000 study to look into the “physics of teleportation,” and could potentially cost $7.5 million to help develop this technology.
  • The DOD giving a $3.9 million grant to see if junk food is more distracting than healthy food.
  • The ONR spending $3.85 million to investigate a study titled “More than a Feeling,” which looks into the “tingling sensation the fictional comic book character Spider-man experiences” when he’s near danger.
  • The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation funding a project to see if cheating makes robots more like humans. The project involves 20 rounds of “Rock-Paper-Scissors” played between 60 humans and a robot designed to cheat.

“For these reasons, I’m giving my May Squeal Award to the Pentagon for out-of-control wasteful spending,” Ernst wrote in a press release.

“Binge Buying Bureaucrats” received April’s award after spending 53 billion tax-payers dollars in one week. The nonpartisan group Open the Books’ analysis found that costs included $4.6 million for lobster tail and crab, $2.1 million on games, toys, and wheeled goods, $11,816 on a commercial foosball table and many other purchases.

“As a combat veteran, one of my key priorities is to make sure our nation’s military has the resources to perform its critical duty in protecting our homeland,” Ernst wrote in a press release regarding May’s award.

“Part of that effort means making sure no dollar provided to the DoD goes to waste, so our servicemembers have the support they need and taxpayers can be assured their hard earned money is being spent wisely,” she wrote.

Ernst introduced the Cost Openness and Spending Transparency Act earlier in 2018 that would “put a price tag on every project funded by the federal government.”

Ernst and the Pentagon were not immediately available for comment.

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