The earmarks attached to the various versions of the Labor-HHS spending bill that President Bush vetoed earlier this week have been compiled into a single database by the nonprofit watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense. The House, Senate, and conference versions of the bill and their 2,246 earmarks worth $1.055 billion can be viewed at the group's website.
"What you will find is that some earmarks got fatter for no apparent reason," says Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense. "Like why did the $100,000 earmark for AltaMed Health Services Corporation construction and equipment sponsored by Senator [Barbara] Boxer [a California Democrat] in the Senate bill grow to $275,000 in conference? And why did Representative [Lucille] Roybal-Allard [a California Democrat] get her name added as an earmark sponsor when there was no House earmark? While some grew like this earmark, many others were shaved a bit, and there were a lot of instances of piggybacking on other members' earmarks—either senators jumping on the bandwagon of House earmarks or vice versa."