WASHINGTON — Just in time for Christmas, a massive $577 billion defense-authorization bill headed for a vote in the Senate next week is packed with goodies that have nothing to do with national security.
One provision pushes forward a National Women’s History Museum in Washington, DC — long advocated by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan).
Also tucked in the bill are pet projects that would establish a Harriet Tubman national historic park in Auburn, NY, and study the creation of federal historic sites in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan.
In all, more than a quarter of the 1,648-page defense bill is dedicated to federal land-use projects, angering some conservatives upset that a critical defense bill is slathered with pork projects.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) tweeted that Congress was sneaking through “hundreds of millions worth of pork into unrelated Defense bill via backroom deals.”
He used the hashtag #SecretSanta to drive home the point.
The House passed the bill Thursday with a 300-119 vote.
Armed Services Committee leaders in Congress hatched a deal to include a federal-lands package that was being developed by separate natural- resources committees.