Congressional watchdogs released Wednesday a new report on government spending and a Hawaii institution is one of the projects in question.
In its annual “Congressional Pig Book,” the group Citizens Against Government Waste says so-called earmarks cost Americans $3.3 billion this year, including nearly $6 million for Hawaii’s East-West Center, located next to University of Hawaii at Manoa.
The group is calling for Congress to take its ban on all pork barrel spending further.
“Earmarks are the gateway drug to Washington’s spending addiction,” said Citizens Against Government Waste president Tom Schatz. “After only four years on the wagon, it appears that many members of Congress feel a compelling need to once again drink from the trough.”
While the report says the East-West Center was created over the state department’s opposition, the center says it now has a strong relationship with the state.
Hawaii’s Sen. Brian Schatz was also named in the report as someone directly responsible for current Congressional funding.
Schatz responded by saying, “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.”