Monday, September 21, 2009

Lincoln & Pryor Vote To Protect Millions in Taxpayer Funds for Little-Used Murtha Airport

from ARRA News Service

NRSC: In a remarkable vote on the Senate floor this afternoon, U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) [and Mark Pryor (D-AR)] made clear that despite rising federal deficits and a record national debt, she still stands firmly on the side of more wasteful Washington spending.

Lincoln helped defeat an amendment, offered by U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), to the annual transportation appropriations bill that would end taxpayer subsidies for the John Murtha Airport, a little used 650-acre facility in Johnstown, Pennsylvania that has received at least $200 million in taxpayer funding. U.S. Congressman John Murtha (D-PA), who the airport was named after and who has been the subject of a number of ethics-related stories in recent months, has personally directed $150 million in federal funds to the facility even though it only has 3 flights daily to one destination: Washington, D.C.

The waste of taxpayer dollars at the Murtha airport has received a great deal of media scrutiny in recent months including from ABC News, CNN and the Wall Street Journal, which reported just last week, “The airport has an $8.5 million, taxpayer-funded radar system that has never been used. The runway was paved with reinforced concrete at a cost of more than $17 million . . . Airport Director Scott Voelker admitted in an interview that having a never-used unmanned radar system is ‘dumber than dirt.’”

The widespread media reports of waste at the Murtha airport make Lincoln’s vote in support of allowing millions in taxpayer funds to continue flowing to Murtha’s pet project all the more remarkable, the NRSC said today.

“This vote was a basic test of Blanche Lincoln’s commitment to fiscal discipline and she failed with flying colors,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson. “At a time when too many Americans are struggling to make ends meet, unemployment is at a near-record high, and Congress is saddling taxpayers with a record level of debt, why does Blanche Lincoln believe this little-used airport should continue to receive millions of taxpayer dollars? Why did she vote to protect Congressman Murtha’s interests instead of the interests of the taxpayers in Arkansas she was elected to represent? We look forward to hearing Senator Lincoln’s explanation for this vote today.”

Read much, much more at ARRA News Service

No comments:

Post a Comment