Congress should stop larding up the pandemic relief package | Opinion
House, Senate pork spending has nothing to do with virus
The U.S. Capitol building, center, and part of the Washington Monument, right.
The U.S. Capitol building, center, and part of the Washington Monument, right. [ JULIO CORTEZ | AP ]
This article represents the opinion of the Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board.
Published July 30, 2020

The House and Senate are calling their latest coronavirus spending proposals “emergency” spending plans, but the pork projects included are anything but. With millions of Americans facing the end of jobless benefits — and with new infections surging in parts of the country threatening even sharper economic pain — this is no time for Congress to lard up (and slow down) a relief package only to score political points. That will only delay financial aid to the needy and sap public confidence in the government’s ability to respond. Here are just a few of the misplaced spending priorities included in the proposed bills that need to wait for another day.


$15 billion — highways

$5.5 billion — expanding broadband, WiFi

$3.6 billion — election assistance

$100 million — domestic violence programs

$50 million — legal aid

$40 million — environmental surveillance

$21 million — wildlife, fisheries management

$10 million — National Endowment for the Arts


$2.2 billion — U.S. Navy medical, transport ships

$1.75 billion — new Washington, D.C. headquarters for the FBI

$1.1 billion — U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft

$720 million — U.S. Air Force C-130J transport planes

$686 million — U.S. Air Force F-35A fighter

$375 million — U.S. Army Stryker combat vehicles

$224 million — NASA- Science

Editorials are the institutional voice of the Tampa Bay Times. The members of the Editorial Board are Times Chairman and CEO Paul Tash, Editor of Editorials Graham Brink, and editorial writers Elizabeth Djinis, John Hill and Jim Verhulst. Follow @TBTimes_Opinion on Twitter for more opinion news