A source on the Hill emails about the just released conference report for Defense Appropriations, saying that it “contains a massive number of earmarks – 2,049 to be exact.” I’m going to round the figures somewhat (they were calculated on the fly) but total cost of the earmarks is $4.9 billion. Included are 24 new earmarks costing about $59 million that were “airdropped” into the conference report. “These earmarks were considered by neither the House nor the Senate and were immaculately conceived in the conference report,” he says.
I’ve started skimming the report, and not everything is going up. According to EarmarkWatch, for example, Rep. James Moran had sponsored or co-sponsored 29 House Defense earmarks totalling $47,000,000 in the House bill; after conference, his name was still attached to 29 earmarks, but the amount budgeted for them will be $40 million.