Maui Business

Inouye “Earmark” Moratorium Will Affect Many

February 2, 2011, 10:35 AM HST
* Updated February 3, 6:17 AM
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U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI)

By Sonia Isotov

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel K. Inouye yesterday announced that the Committee will implement a moratorium on earmarks for the current session of Congress. 

This amounts to a 2-year moratorium, as it will apply to both the FY 2011 and FY 2012 bills.

Daniel K. Inouye sponsored or co-sponsored 158 earmarks totaling $392,432,850 in fiscal year 2010 and ranked 2nd out of 100 senators.

Maui-based companies and government agencies received over $46 million worth of these earmarks in FY2010, including:

  • Boeing Co, Kihei. Maui Space Surveillance System Operations and Research ($19.5M)
  • University of Hawaii. Makawao. PanSTARRS ($16.9M)
  • Textron Systems, Kihei. Applications of LIDAR to Vehicles with Analysis ($6M)
  • Hnu Photonics, Kihei. Applications of LIDAR to Vehicles with Analysis ($6M)
  • Pacific Defense Solutions, Kihei. Real-time Optical Surveillance Applications ($3.5M)
  • University of Hawaii-Maui, Kahului. Remote Rural Hawaii Job Training Project ($2.3M)
  • Akimeka, Kihei. Hawaii Advanced Laboratory for Information Integration ($2M)
  • University of Hawaii-Maui, Kahului. Community College Training & Education Opportunities program ($2M)
  • Maui County for infrastructure improvements at the Kamole Water Treatment Plant
    Maui County. ($1M)
  • Maui County for Kaa Force main replacement. Maui County. ($1M)
  • Maui Economic Concerns of the Community, Wailuku. For rehabilitation and improvement of a homeless resource center and affordable housing for low-income residents ($487,000)
  • Maui Economic Development Board, Kihei. Maui Economic Development Board Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) training ($450,000)
  • Maui Economic Development Board, Kihei, Rural Computer Utilization Training
    Kihei, HI($300,000)
  • Iao Stream Flood Control. ($250,000)
  • Maalaea Harbor. ($181,000)
  • Maui Medical Center, Wailuku. Facilities and equipment at the Simulation Center ($100,000)
  • Maui Economic Development Board, Kihei. For health education at the Lanai’l Women’s Initiative ($100,000)
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“I continue to support the Constitutional right of members of Congress to direct investments to their states and districts under the fiscally responsible and transparent earmarking process that we have established,” said Inouye in a statement.

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“However, the handwriting is clearly on the wall. The President has stated unequivocally that he will veto any legislation containing earmarks, and the House will not pass any bills that contain them. Given the reality before us, it makes no sense to accept earmark requests that have no chance of being enacted into law.”

“The Appropriations Committee will thoroughly review its earmark policy to ensure that every member has a precise definition of what constitutes an earmark. To that end, we will send each member a letter with the interpretation of Rule XLIV (44) that will be used by the Committee. If any member submits a request that is an earmark as defined by that rule, we will respectfully return the request.”

“Next year, when the consequences of this decision are fully understood by the members of this body, we will most certainly revisit this issue and explore ways to improve the earmarking process.  At the appropriate time, I will once again urge the Senate to consider a transparent and fair earmark process that protects our rights as legislators to answer the petitions of our constituents, regardless of what the President or some Federal bureaucrat thinks is right.”

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