Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Citizens Against Government Waste: Richard Shelby June’s “Porker of the Month,” & Source of NASA Gov’t Waste

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 28, 2010

Face it… defense/aerospace contract, & federal government employee folks in Huntsville know which side their bread’s buttered on.

Problem is, they all feed from the same trough.

CAGW Names Alabama Senator Richard Shelby June Porker of the Month.

Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.

CAGW Names Richard Shelby June Porker of the Month

(Washington, D.C.) – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, June Porker of the Month for blocking the Obama administration’s attempts to eliminate funding for the Constellation program, a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) program which is chronically behind schedule and over budget.

Initiated under former President George W. Bush, Constellation is NASA’s first major foray back into space.  The plan is to develop the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle and the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle to return to the moon and eventually send humans to Mars.  However, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has criticized NASA’s management of the program, saying that it “is still struggling to develop a solid business case – including firm requirements, mature technologies, a knowledge-based acquisition strategy, a realistic cost estimate, and sufficient funding and time – needed to justify moving the Constellation program forward into the implementation phase…NASA estimates that Ares I and Orion represent up to $49 billion of the over $97 billion estimated to be spent on the Constellation program through 2020.  While the agency has already obligated more than $10 billion in contracts, at this point NASA does not know how much Ares I and Orion will ultimately cost, and will not know until technical and design challenges have been addressed.”  CAGW recently released an Issue Brief on the Constellation program.

Sen. Shelby co-sponsored an amendment that would shield the program from proposed budget cuts to the fiscal year 2010 emergency war supplemental.  “Americans are being forced to tighten their belts and the economy is limping along, but that doesn’t deter the porkers in Congress, like Sen. Shelby, who are still spending and rewarding government contractors orbiting the program.  Sen. Shelby’s actions just perpetuate the notion that politicians in Washington are living on a completely different planet,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz.  “This would be the time to move toward a more competitive model for space exploration.  It is outrageous for Sen. Shelby to object to the private sector’s work on space exploration and characterize it as ‘corporate welfare,’ when his own actions are nothing but pure pork-barrel spending to contractors from his state.”

CAGW is also announcing the debut episode of an ongoing monthly video series on Porker of the Month.  The video series will be a co-production with reason.tv, the video website of Reason Magazine.  CAGW’s Porker of the Month will now be a multi-media presentation, available on both CAGW’s homepage and at reason.tv.

For launching pigs into space and contributing to the black hole of deficit spending, CAGW names Sen. Richard Shelby its June 2010 Porker of the Month.

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.  Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.

For more information, contact:          Leslie K. Paige

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