Uh one, uh two, uh three, and a $500,000 "national embarrassment" has ended for some members of Congress.
The House voted Thursday to withdraw a grant to develop bandleader Lawrence Welk's North Dakota hometown, a rural development project that became a symbol for wasteful government spending last fall."We no longer can afford projects that have little or no merit," said Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla. "Can anybody in this body argue that restoring the birthplace of Lawrence Welk is absolutely essential?"
An amendment to a supplemental appropriations bill that rescinds the $500,000 grant passed 71-11 on a standing vote and was sent to the Senate.
The Welk grant is typical of pet projects that are routinely inserted into the federal budget every year.
However, the late Rep. Silvio Conte, R-Mass., brought the Welk project to national attention when he lampooned it last October during a congressional struggle over tax increases and budget cuts.
"What will they do for an encore? Earmark funds to renovate Guy Lombardo's speedboat?" Conte asked.