White House officials said Sunday that President Obama would sign a $410 billion spending bill that includes thousands of pet projects, known as earmarks, despite campaign promises to put an end to the practice.
In appearances on television talk shows, Mr. Obama’s budget director and chief of staff both played down the issue. “We want to just move on. Let’s get this bill done, get it into law and move forward.”
Officials estimate that the omnibus spending bill, meant to pay for government operations through Sept. 30, contains nearly 9,000 provisions added by legislators to use public money to pay for projects in their home districts.
The earmarks account for at least $3.8 billion of the total spending in the package, according to estimates, including $1 million to control Mormon crickets in Utah, $162,000 to control rodents in Hawaii, and money for the presidential libraries of three Democrats: Franklin D. Roosevelt ($17.5 million), John F. Kennedy ($22 million) and Lyndon B. Johnson ($2 million).The legislation would increase overall spending by 9 percent compared with last year, including significant increases for health care, education and energy.