Defense bill: Earmarking as usual


  • Anonymous


Earmarked funds in the $268 billion defense appropriations bill for fiscal year 1991 stirred congressional debate in late October. Senator Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, charged that the defense bill contains questionable projects totaling tens of millions of dollars. AGU opposes legislative earmarking of money for particular institutions, maintaining that the practice prevents the best use of federal funding by circumventing competitive review. Nunn noted on the Senate floor that the appropriations bill provided specific funds for cited institutions—contravening a federal law promoting competition. “ If these programs have merit, they will succeed in a fair and competent review in competition,” Nunn said. “If no other institution in the country is able to compete, there should be no fear whatever of competition… But no one else in the world is allowed to compete to work on these projects.”