"Congress has moved to prevent money from the proposed $825 billion stimulus package from being used for zoos, aquariums, golf courses, swimming pools and casinos"
Thanks to reader Joel for this:
Congress has moved to prevent money from the proposed $825 billion stimulus package from being used for zoos, aquariums, golf courses, swimming pools and casinos, an effort to ensure the bill funds only what it calls the "highest quality" infrastructure projects.
"The purpose of this bill is to direct funding at projects that are primarily and clearly aimed at benefiting the economic conditions of communities and the public at large," the bill states. "The federal government and all other levels of government are directed to look with a skeptical eye at projects that don't meet that test."
CNN revealed last month that a list of "ready to go" stimulus projects endorsed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors included museum and zoo renovations, aquatic centers, skateboard parks and bike and horse paths. One of the zoo projects in the report is a $4.8 million polar bear exhibit at the Providence, Rhode Island, zoo.
The House Appropriations Committee added those restrictions last week after criticism from watchdog groups like the National Taxpayers Union, which monitors government spending.
"To the people supporting them, these proposals aren't a joke," said Pete Sepp, the group's vice president. "But to the taxpayers funding them, yes this will be a joke for them, only they won't be laughing."
The restrictions in the bill appear meant to address reports about some of the projects endorsed by the U.S. mayors, Sepp said.
Any followers of politics who know how to find out which fine politician drove the inclusion of this language in the bill? Or is it all done behind closed doors?
Obviously, my Golf World piece was not read by this fine guardian of American values! And clearly, Steve Mona, Bob Combs and the crew down in Florida working to educate our nation's capital have their work cut out for them.