Bill Stops Berkeley Earmarks and Transfers Funds to Marine Corps
February 6, 2008
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia), Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-Oklahoma), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and David Vitter (R-Louisiana) introduced the Semper Fi Act of 2008. The bill would rescind over $2 million in hidden earmarks for Berkeley, California in the 2008 Omnibus Appropriations bill, and transfer the funds to the Marine Corps. U.S. Congressman John Campbell (R-California) is introducing a companion bill in the House of Representatives.
Last week, the City Council of Berkeley voted to oust Marine Corps recruiters from their downtown office, saying the Marines were “uninvited and unwelcome intruders.” Berkeley officials also voted to give the radical protest group Code Pink space outside the recruitment office and urged them to “impede, passively or actively” the work of Marine Corps recruiters.
One earmark provides $243,000 in taxpayer dollars for the organization Chez Panisse
*********Correction****The $243,000 is designated for the Chez Panisse Foundation not the Chez Panisse Restaurant. Although, the confusion is understandable (to me anyway) since it was the restaurant's owner who established the foundation. However, in the interest of complete accuracy, the money is proposed to go to a 501c3 non-profit organization. I would like to thank Stephen Denney for pointing this out. Although it does not change my mind one bit and I still support the Semper Fi Act. The point is cause pressure to be brought to bear on the Berkeley City Council. While bringing healthier food choices into school lunch programs is a laudable goal, it can wait until the Berkeley City Council pulles it's head out of it's ass. No one is going hungry.
Another earmark would spend $975,000 in taxpayer dollars for the University of California in Berkeley Matsui Center for Politics and Public Service, to create a new endowment and cataloging the papers of Congressman Robert Matsui. U.C. Berkeley currently already has a $3.5 billion endowment. Senator Inhofe: “Unfortunately, those on the Berkeley city council do not seem to understand the sacrifice of the brave men and women of the United States Marine Corps. By interfering with military recruiting, the city of Berkeley is hampering our ability to protect this nation. While the city of Berkeley and the protestors are free to say whatever they like, free speech is not a protection from consequence.”
Senator DeMint: “Berkeley needs to learn that their actions have consequences. Patriotic American taxpayers won’t sit quietly while Berkeley insults our brave Marines and tries to run them out of town. Berkeley City Council members have shown complete ingratitude to our military and their families, and the city doesn’t deserve a single dime of special pet project handouts.”
Senator Cornyn: “The Berkeley City Council insulted our troops and offended people across the country. If the U.S. Marines are not good enough for Berkeley, neither are taxpayer dollars Congress would have sent there this year. That city closed its doors on the same individuals taking bullets on the front lines while fighting for the safety and freedom of families in Berkeley and throughout America.”
Senator Vitter: “The actions of the City Council of Berkeley are in stark contrast to beliefs of the vast majority of Americans who recognize and honor the service and sacrifice of our U.S. Marines. This is simply unacceptable and those funds could be better utilized by the Marine Corps.”
Dr. Coburn: “The actions by the city of Berkeley are deplorable and insulting to those who are serving and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect the very freedoms that are being exercised to insult them. I know I stand with the majority of Americans in thanking our service men and women for their selfless service to our nation.”
Senator Chambliss: “We need to send a strong message that our military personnel deserve our strongest support. Georgia is a proud military state, and my constituents will be out outraged to know that during a time of war, their taxpayers dollars have been used to reward folks who have insulted and disparaged those who defend this nation every day.”
H/T Bigg Bill aka Bill Steiner, if you aren't on his email list, you want to be. The man has a finger in every pie. The issue closest to his heart of course is the Flight 93 Memorial and making sure it isn't an Islamic memorial.