Published Online: October 29, 1997

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Pig-picking

Look out--"Porky the Pork-Barreling Pig" has his snout trained on a few would-be federal education expenditures.

Sen. John McCain launched Porky onto the Internet last month to point out items the Arizona Republican considers questionable in the Senate's fiscal 1998 spending bill, now under consideration by a House-Senate conference committee. The list includes items from a range of departments whose authorization laws have expired, specific earmarked dollars for a member's district, or items added to a spending bill to circumvent the normal budget-writing process.

On Sen. McCain's World Wide Web site, www.senate.gov/~mccain, Porky shuffles across the bottom of the page, with a banner tied to his tail, rolling a barrel of money with his nose.

Porky's picks include a proposed $500,000 grant for research on technology used by children with disabilities that the Senate Appropriations Committee reports the University of Northern Iowa would be best suited to perform.

Sen. McCain also targets several proposed allocations to Hawaii, including $500,000 for the Native Hawaiian Education Council and language urging the U.S. Department of Education to use $500,000 for aquaculture education workshops for high school students and teachers.

Greg Knudsen, a spokesman for the Hawaii Department of Education, said those programs "reflect unique characteristics of the state that some members of Congress might not understand."

For instance, aquaculture, which is the study of ocean resources, is a promising field relevant to the state's economic future, Mr. Knudsen added.

Sen. McCain also questions a proposed $326,000 allotment to the Central Montana Head Start Program to secure donations of surplus property, as well as language in an accompanying Senate Appropriations Committee report that requests better funding for the Centennial school district in Warminster, Pa.

--JOETTA L. SACK federal@epe.org

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