Despite a ban on pork spending two years ago, the newspaper finds that Rogers has steered tens of millions of back to Kentucky company and the military has bought close to $6.5 million worth of the “leakproof” drip pans.
From The New York Times:
The Kentucky company, Phoenix Products, got the job to produce the pans after Representative Harold Rogers, a Republican who is now the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, added an earmark to a 2009 spending bill. While the earmark came before restrictions were placed on such provisions for for-profit companies, its outlays have continued for the last three years.
A Congressional aide said that Mr. Rogers inserted the earmark after Army officials went to him with concerns about fluids that were leaking into the cabins of Black Hawks, splattering not only crew members but also wounded soldiers being airlifted to hospitals…The Army, however, said it was simply following a budget directive from Congress. Mr. Rogers’s earmark came before House members informally agreed to ban such provisions to for-profit companies.
Rogers has defended the earmarks as needed spending to ensure the safety of military personnel and advance U.S. missions abroad.