Security bill has plenty of pork: “$2 million so the Smithsonian can start a 108,000-square-foot building in Maryland to house its collection of fish, frogs, bugs, birds and other animals preserved in alcohol-filled containers. Now on the National Mall, the containers are seen as a flammable hazard, but they have been that way since long before Sept. 11. ‘It’s something that we have been hoping for for some years,’ says Jerome Conlon, the museum’s assistant director for facility operations.
$5 million to subsidize farmers’ markets and roadside produce stands in 31 states. The bill singles out Wisconsin, home of Rep. Dave Obey, top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.
$2.5 million to map coral reefs in the waters around Hawaii. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
$16 million for fishermen and communities in New England hurt by federal fishing limits, and another $5 million for loans to commercial fishing operations there and elsewhere.
$7.2 million to buy a second supercomputer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to forecast the weather. Lawmakers say the agency needs a backup in case of terrorism.
More than $1 billion for veterans benefits and medical care. The House bill directs the administration not to use that money for homeland defense.”