Political Radar

Pigs in zen

May 8th, 2014

A $5.9 million earmark for the East-West Center earned a mention in the annual Congressional Pig Book issued by Citizens Against Government Waste.

The center long served as the symbol the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye used to explain how the often criticized earmark process benefited Hawaii.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, who was appointed to replace Inouye, successfully obtained the earmark.

From the Pig Book:

$5.9 million for the East-West Center in Hawaii, which is intended to promote better relations with Pacific and Asian nations. The center was established by Congress in 1960 with no congressional hearings, and over the State Department’s opposition. For years, the State Department tried to eliminate the center by not requesting funding in the department’s annual budget requests. After Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) passed away in 2013, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) willingly stepped up to the plate to defend the center. In a January 16, 2014 press release, Sen. Schatz claimed an appropriations victory for adding the $5.9 million to the FY 2014 omnibus appropriations bill, making it clear that he is responsible for this earmark. Since FY 1997, the East-West Center has received 11 earmarks totaling $109.7 million.

From Schatz:

This is a mainland group that clearly doesn't understand Hawaii's needs and the investments that have always been important to our state. Making sure Hawaii continues to receive our fair share is part of my job in the Senate. Given that the East-West Center has a direct role supporting President Obama’s focus on the Asia-Pacific, one of my top priorities was to work with Senate leaders to increase funding for the Center and make sure Hawaii continues to do well in the appropriations process.

7 Responses to “Pigs in zen”

  1. Sayer:

    Look I'm not any Schatz supporter but come on, this is over the top. The East West Center has a valuable place in Hawaii and it is a reputable institution. They can call anything "pork" if they want to but that doesn't mean that it is.

  2. hossana:

    He's got my vote. I don't think Hanabutta would have been able to slip this by unlike Schatz.

  3. Guido Sarducci:

    Schatz likes sheep, not pigs. And the sheep are afraid, very afraid.

  4. Manoa Kahuna:

    Kudos to Senator Schatz! The East-West Center is a valuable asset.

    "The East-West Center has a direct role supporting President Obama’s focus on the Asia-Pacific." Well done, Senator.

  5. Manoa_Fisherman:

    If Schatz only got $5.9 million for the E-W Center, then that is not much of an accomplishment. Senator Inouye was able to get substantially more in appropriations in the federal budget that amounted to $100+ million every year, not just earmarks. When Schatz can get some real money for the State, I would not go around crowing about a few million for a program that benefits only a handful of people.

  6. tommui:

    When State Dept doesn't want any moneys to go to the East West Center and it is felt by DKI and Senator Schatz that the EW Center was/is necessary, $5.9 mil is not chump change.

  7. Especially Incognito:

    Hawaii needs more bacon...trim off the fat...
    rail is an earwax....

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