The Heritage Foundation has published a list of the “earmarks” included in the spending bill passed over the weekend.
$3,000,000 – Center for Grape Genetics, Geneva, New York
$3,000,000 – Grape Genomics Research Center, Davis, California
$25,000 – Develop curriculum to study mariachi music, Clark County School District, Nevada
$150,000 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program, Lady B Ranch, California
$99,000 – Train students in the motorsports industry, Patrick Henry Community College
$1,500,000 – Transport naturally chilled water from Lake Ontario to Lake Onondaga
$100,000 – â€œNo Workshops, No Jumpshots,” Virginia
$1,750,000 – Parents Anonymous
$470,000 – Swine and other animal waste management research, North Carolina
$300,000 – Wool research
…And the list goes on and on.
We should be very proud that Congress is working so hard for us.
Perhaps more alarmingly, the same bill also included a clause allowing hospitals and insurance companies to refuse to perform abortions. Even though many states already have laws allowing individual doctors to refuse, they felt it was important to allow entire institutions to decline. I believe that individual doctors should always have the right to not participate, and that there should be some protection for religious hospitals to not have to offer abortions (although perhaps not those receiving government money, which probably leaves very few). However, this clause (the wording of which I am afraid I cannot find) goes way beyond that. According to Salon, the Senate will hold a vote to repeal the clause in April. One can only hope that, on its own, support for the measure will wane.