The Democrats’ immense $3.5 trillion spending bill includes more than $200 million designated for San Francisco’s federal Presidio Park in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district. Republicans used the earmark as a rallying point against the debt-exploding plan.
Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR), a ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, said that the Democratic spending proposal burdens future Americans with crippling debt so that Pelosi can receive a $200 million earmark. His comments came as his committee began the markup process on the bill on Thursday.
The Presidio Park sits adjacent to the San Francisco entry onto the Golden Gate Bridge. Formerly a military installation, the 1,500-acre park was created by the Presidio Trust, which Pelosi helped to establish in the 1990s.
In an interview last week, Pelosi said that she is a “regular” at the Presidio, adding that it is “just so beautiful” to see the bridge and the city when walking.
The House Natural Resource Republicans called the Democratic earmarks in the spending bill “slush funds” for partisan “pet projects,” identifying the Presidio allocation specifically as spending driven to benefit Pelosi. In a Tweet, the group pointed out the Presidio Trust’s boast that it operates “at no cost” to taxpayers.
The thread also stated that the Democrats’ spending plan is “at best” partisan pork-barrel spending and “at worst” a plan to “hamstring” the U.S. and make the country dependent on adversarial foreign countries for domestic energy needs.
A Republican aide to the committee said that taxpayers should not “foot the bill” for Pelosi’s “partisan wish lists.” The statement continued by pointing out that it is telling that Democrats prioritize personally benefiting projects while Hurricane Ida has left thousands without power or safe drinking water.
Pelosi’s office defended the Presidio allocation as needed to address a backlog of the repairs necessary to maintain the park, including “deferred maintenance needs.”
Republicans marking up the bill indicated they would continue trying to remove the earmark, although Democrats have been voting against most of their amendments.