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Friday, September 18, 2009

Brown & Voinovich vote to keep the “pork” flowing!

Senate Amendment 2410 would have limited the use of tax payer dollars for a big pork project in Pennsylvania. Mr. Brown and Mr. Voinovich voted “no” to stopping the wasteful spending of our money. We will be contacting both Senator’s offices to ask them to explain their vote.


For Immediate Release
September 16th, 2009


- Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), chairman of the Senate Steering Committee and Ranking Member of the Aviation Subcommittee, announced he will offer an amendment to end taxpayer subsidies for the John Murtha Airport, a little used 650-acre facility in Johnstown, Pennsylvania that has received at least $200 million in taxpayer funding. U.S. Congressman John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania), who the airport was named after, has personally directed $150 million in federal funds to the facility even though it only has 3 flights daily to one destination: Washington, D.C. In May, the House failed to halt funding to Murtha’s airport by a vote of 263-154.

“This is a test to see how serious we are about stopping wasteful spending. If we can’t stop this ridiculous abuse of taxpayer funds for a deserted airport, we can’t stop anything,” said Senator DeMint. “Hundreds of thousands of Americans just marched on Washington to protest out-of-control spending and debt. Millions of Americans are speaking out, but are we listening? This airport -- where the staff and taxpayer-funded buildings outnumber the passengers -- is a national embarrassment.”

“Congress must earn back America’s trust, and we can begin by drawing a line here. No more tax dollars to wasteful boondoggles that serve as monuments to politicians. Enough is enough. Sadly, the House failed to stop this, but the Senate has a chance to stand up for taxpayers. How can any of us justify to our children and grandchildren that we increased their taxes and debt to fund this waste?”


• Named the John Murtha Airport, 650-acre state-of-the-art facility in Johnstown, PA
• Received $200 million in federal funds over 20 years, $150 million steered by Murtha himself, who uses the airport for campaign stops
• Only 3 flights daily, to only one destination: Washington, D.C. (Dulles airport)
• Averages 20 passengers daily
• Received $800,000 in stimulus funds this year to repave a backup runway, even though the airport manager says there are no safety issues with the current runway.
• Has an $8.5 million radar system paid for by taxpayers, that remains unstaffed and unused.
• Airport passenger count has fallen by 50% in the past 10 years, as federal funds continue to pour in
• Federal funds subsidize every flight into the airport, an average of $100 per passenger on each flight

1 comment:

  1. Reply from Mr. Brown:

    Thank you for contacting me about funding for the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport.

    The Senate recently voted on an amendment that would have barred funding to the airport. This funding was not an earmark. Rather, it involved operating funds that are provided to more than 150 small airports across the nation based on a predetermined formula.

    Under the Department of Transportation Essential Air Service Program, the airport receives $1.4 million each year, ranking it 51st among the small airports receiving funding. I was opposed to singling out one airport as ineligible for these formula grants and I opposed the amendment.

    Again, while this funding is not part of an earmark, I share your concern regarding excessive spending. I am pleased that spending on earmarks has been slashed by 48 percent since 2006.

    Thank you again for writing me.


    Sherrod Brown
    United States Senator


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