Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Josh Drobnyk writes for The Swamp:
Sen. Arlen Specter added more than two dozen spending requests for abstinence education programs in Pennsylvania to a bill that passed a Senate committee this summer, the latest effort by the Pennsylvania Republican to boost federal spending on such programs....
The more than $1 million -- to be doled out in 25 grants each worth between $30,000 and $80,000 -- would go to hospitals, school districts and social service organizations throughout the state and supplement a growing federal effort to persuade unmarried people to abstain from sex. But critics say the requests bypass the government's competitive bidding process.
Specter, who added the ''earmarks'' to the Labor and Health and Human Services appropriations measure that passed the panel in June, is the only lawmaker in Congress to sponsor a spending request for abstinence education, according to a database of appropriations bills compiled by Washington-based watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense. The bill still needs Senate, House and White House approval.
Specter's support for abstinence education is a long-held but lesser-known position of the five-term lawmaker, a move that could soften his image among moral conservatives as an abortion-rights supporter.