As a spending bill loaded with pork makes its way through Congress, President Obama is getting pushback from members of his own party who are questioning his vow to end wasteful spending.
The president on Wednesday pledged turn tide on an "era of fiscal irresponsibility," reiterating his campaign promise that the days of "pork ... as a strategy" are over.
And in a prime-time address before a joint session of Congress, Obama last week praised the $787 billion stimulus package signed into law, telling the nation, "I'm proud that we passed a recovery plan free of earmarks, and I want to pass a budget next year that ensures that each dollar we spend reflects only our most important national priorities."
But some in the audience found that hard to swallow.
"There was just a roar of laughter -- because there were earmarks," said Sen. Claire McCaskill
The scoffing continues as the president hammers away at reducing wasteful spending and saving taxpayers money while lawmakers on Capitol Hill load up a spending bill with more than 8,000 earmarks totaling nearly $8 billion.
The legislation in question is a $410 billion omnibus bill that would keep the federal government running through the rest of the fiscal year, which ends in September 2009.
According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a group that monitors government spending, the bill includes:
Nearly $1.8 million for pig odor research in Iowa
$950,000 for a convention center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
$143,000 for a natural history museum in Las Vegas
$238,000 for the Polynesian Voyaging Society in Hawaii
About 60 percent of the earmarks are from Democrats, and about 40 percent are from Republicans, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense.