McCain criticized pork barrel spending on Saturday
(CNN)–Senator John McCain says Congress should share some of the blame for the collapse of the bridge in Minnesota, because of the diversion of money meant for transportation spending that goes to pet projects for members of Congress.
"Clearly inspections of bridges are needed and that's why the Department of Transportation has ordered them," the GOP presidential candidate said. "That we have to spend 233 million of those dollars earmarked for transportation, that are already intended for transportation, on an outrageous earmark of a 233 million dollar bridge in Alaska to an island with 50 people on it, its an argument for reforming this broken system of corruption and earmarking in Washington." McCain said that money should have been used to fund inspections and repairs of the nation's infrastructure.
McCain has been a vocal critic of "ear marks", narrowly targeted projects that members of Congress tuck into appropriations bills. Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, faced criticism for an appropriation of 233 million dollars to build a bridge in an area of his state with a small population.
McCain made the comments to local reporters on Saturday in Ankeny, Iowa following a town hall meeting. He is due to participate in a debate Sunday with the other Republican presidential candidates in Des Moines.
–CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford