Park or pork? House Republicans roast Pelosi over $200 million for San Francisco’s Presidio

The Washington Times:

Salted away in the massive House budget reconciliation budget is $200 million for a park located in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district, a line item that looked suspiciously like pork to Republicans.

Rep. Bruce Westerman, House Natural Resources Committee ranking member, took a swing at the Presidio allocation as he roasted Democrats for plowing ahead with Thursday’s mark-up on $37.1 billion of the $3.5 trillion package as the nation grapples with a series of disasters.

“Their deficit spending proposals saddle future generations with insurmountable debt in order to give Nancy Pelosi things like a $200 million earmark,” said Mr. Westerman at the marathon hearing.

The item for the Presidio Trust, which manages most of the scenic historic park on the tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, made its way into the reconciliation proposal even though the trust’s website says it was “charged with operating the park without taxpayer support.”

Committee Republicans, using the #PelosiPresidioPayout hashtag, took to social media to blast Democrats for including “slush funds for partisan pet projects, including a $200 million taxpayer-funded payout for San Francisco courtesy of @SpeakerPelosi.”

A House Republican committee aide said that the “American taxpayer should not be expected to foot the bill for Speaker Pelosi’s partisan wish lists.”

“While thousands of Gulf Coast residents are without power or water, homes and wildlife across the American West are in the paths of catastrophic wildfires, historic drought is wreaking havoc on farm and ranch lands, and illegal immigrants continue trampling sensitive ecosystems along the southern border, it’s extremely telling that committee Democrats are choosing to prioritize slush funds like the Presidio payout instead of any one of the very real crises our country is facing daily,” said the aide.

The Western Energy Alliance said the “special project is among many that would be funded by increased revenues and fees targeting oil and natural gas produced on public lands,” adding that the Presidio’s funding sources on the property include a golf course, hotels and office rentals.

“The $200 million Presidio pork in the Reconciliation Bill is just a really good reminder of hypocrisy on energy issues,” said the group’s president, Kathleen Sgamma, in an email.

She said that royalties almost exclusively from oil and natural gas development provide $2.8 billion in annual conservation and parks funding, but that “Democrats are pushing a bill that’s so punitive it threatens to kill that revenue source while borrowing from future generations for a park in Speaker Pelosi’s district.”

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