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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Flap over pet projects roils GOP

Remember Alaska's "bridge to nowhere"? It's about to be topped by what critics call Mississippi's "railroad to nowhere," which is quickly becoming the poster child for excessive spending by the Republican-controlled Congress.
The project, which was added to a $106.5 billion emergency defense spending bill in the Senate, would relocate a Gulf Coast rail line inland, to higher ground. Never mind that the hurricane-battered line was just repaired at a cost of at least $250 million. Or that at $700 million, the project championed by Mississippi's two US senators is being called the largest "earmark" ever.
 
The controversy points to a deepening split in the GOP over whether to rein in spending in the face of wartime commitments and record deficits - and whether failing to do so threatens their majority in this fall's midterm elections.
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