Earmark or pork amendments were banned as the 110th Congress passed its Continuing Resolution (H.J.Res.20) to fund the nine 2007 appropriations bills that the 109th Congress neglected to complete last year. However, the funding for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security did not escape earmarking.
Monetary influence of Jack Abramoff
• The House of Representatives approved appropriations for Fiscal Year 2006 for the Department of Transportation. The House bill allocates to the FAA $14.4 billion for operations, $3.6 billion for the Airport Improvement Program, $25 million to hire some 600 new air traffic controllers and $8 million to add more safety inspectors in the aircraft certification and flight standards offices.
Before leaving for Congress’s December break the Senate approved a $39.7 billion, five-year deficit reduction bill by a vote of 51 to 50. Among the provisions of the bill are an increase in out-of-pocket costs for Medicare, changes in welfare and child-support programs to save $1.6 billion and a change in the student loan program to save $12.7 billion by fixing the interest rate at 6.8 percent.