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San Diego Gets a Boost from Earmarks

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Aired 4/20/09

Republicans and Democrats are both pledging to put the federal government on a diet to cut the deficit. But when it comes to pork, they have the same big appetite. This year's first budget bill in Congress comes with $140 million for San Diego. As Sara Sciammacco reports, California lawmakers proudly stand by their earmarks.

Thanks to Representative Susan Davis - Congress included half a million dollars for San Diego buses and three hundred thousand dollars for Asian youth mentoring. Critics say earmarks are wasteful and want them out of the bill.

Senator Diane Feinstein - who got $20 million for the mid-city rapid transit - says they must stay.

"It is important that California get back services for the taxes it pays highway services, healthcare services, education, infrastructure and we are a long way in getting back what we pay in taxes," she says.

Congressmen Brian Bilbray, Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa all helped to get more than $1 million to improve law enforcement communications. In all, earmarks account for less than two percent of the total budget.

From Capitol News Connection in Washington I'm Sara Sciammacco for KPBS news

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