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CLEAR Act Includes $30 Billion Mandatory Spending Increase, Entire Amount Open to Earmarks


WASHINGTON, D.C., July 29, 2010 - A hallmark of this Democrat controlled Congress has been the dramatic increase in spending, and they keep that tradition going strong with the CLEAR Act.  The bill includes an over $30 billion increase in new, mandatory spending over the next 30 years for programs that are completely unrelated to the oil spill.

Even more egregious, Democrats have added new language that expressly allows the full $30 billion to be earmarked by the Appropriations Committee.  Page 127, line 3 of the bill reads:

“The Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate may provide by law for the allocation of moneys in the fund to eligible activities under this Act.”

While Gulf Coast families and business struggle to recover from this disaster, Democrats in Congress are gearing up to create a new slush fund for special interest pork barrel spending. 

 “This $30 billion in mandatory spending is like an ATM that automatically hands out $1 billion a year for the next 30 years.  Regardless of your views on these two programs, everyone should agree that they have no business being in a bill that is supposed to respond to an offshore oil spill.  The priorities should be responding to the crisis and helping people in the Gulf, not looking for new creative ways to tax and spend,” said Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings.

Background

The bill authorizes $900 million in mandatory spending each year, for the next 30 years, on the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) – primarily used to purchase more federal land. 

It also spends $150 million per year, for 30 years, to fully fund the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF).  Like the LWCF, this program has nothing to do with offshore drilling and is used to preserve historic sites and landmarks.

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Contact: Jill Strait or Spencer Pederson (202) 226-2311

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