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Published On: Thu, Oct 17th, 2013

Mitch McConnell gets ‘Kentucky Kickback’ with dam deal, $2 billion earmark

The bill that ended the government shutdown and prevented the trip over the fiscal cliff Wednesday night also included a $2 billion spending earmark for a dam in Kentucky.

Critics are targeting Senate leader Mitch McConnell over the move, nicknaming the “pork” as the “Kentucky Kickback.”

Mitch-McConnell_DonkeyHotey“It’s the Kentucky Kickback,” the Senate Conservatives Fund, which is considering backing McConnell’s primary opponent, wrote in a blog post. “In exchange for funding Obamacare and raising the debt limit, Mitch McConnell has secured a $2 billion earmark. This is an insult to all the Kentucky families who don’t want to pay for Obamacare and don’t want to shoulder any more debt.”

The SCF was one of the groups targeted by McConnell as he told fellow Senate Republicans they’d be considered “traitorous” by joining their support.

McConnell’s spokesman avoided a question about the funding provision when asked by local radio affiliate WFPL.

“Senators (Dianne) Feinstein and (Lamar) Alexander, the chair and ranking member of the energy and water subcommittee, worked on the issue and can help you,” spokesman Robert Steurer told the station.

Versions of the water project measure passed both the House and Senate earlier this year (that bill was authored by McConnell.)

The 35-page bill was a $2.1 billion increase in funding for a dam under construction on the Kentucky-Illinois border, which just happens to be the home turf McConnell.

“The McConnell-Reid bill not only funds Obamacare and suspends the debt limit, it ALSO includes a provision…that increases the authorization for the Olmsted Lock in Kentucky from $775 million to nearly $3 billion,” writes SCF in a statement. “In exchange for funding Obamacare and raising the debt limit, Mitch McConnell has secured a $2 billion earmark.”

“According to the Army Corps of Engineers, 160 million taxpayer dollars will be wasted because of canceled contracts if this language is not included. Sen. [Diane] Feinstein and I, as chairman and ranking member of the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, requested this provision,” Alexander said in a statement to BuzzFeed.

Alexander’s home state of Tennessee is also expected to benefit from the Olmsted dam project, along with Illinois.

The provision is not technically an earmark, the now barred forms of special project funding that for years was added to larger spending bills in order to win the support of lawmakers.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Biggest Political Hypocrites of 2013: Marco Rubio on Obamacare, Mitch McConnell on shutdown - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] “In exchange for funding Obamacare and raising the debt limit, Mitch McConnell has secured a $2 billion earmark. This is an insult to all the Kentucky families who don’t want to pay for Obamacare and don’t want to shoulder any more debt,” said Senate Conservative Fund. […]

  2. Joseph Wells says:

    These deal is so very Important for everyone.
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  3. Dispatch Radio: Global Dispatch News, Duellyn Pandis on flu shots, travel health and Mike Smith with Movie News - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Mitch McConnell blamed for $2 billion earmark – read more details here […]

  4. Senate Aide: ‘Everyone Gave Their Consent’ to ‘Kentucky Kickback’ | Grumpy Opinions says:

    […] Mitch McConnell gets ‘Kentucky Kickback’ with dam deal, $2 billion earmark […]

  5. Ted Cruz=Poster Boy of Republican Lunacy - Page 3 says:

    […] are you praising him? He is a piece of shit and exhibit A of what the problem is in Washington. Mitch McConnell gets ?Kentucky Kickback? with dam deal, $2 billion earmark – The Global Dispatch 0 __________________ BOOMER […]

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