No Stimulus Funds for Pastel Lights, Saunas, Blago

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TPM reports that Sen. Tom Coburn has introduced an amendment to the stimulus bill that would prevent any spending on “zero-gravity chairs,” “rotating pastel lights,” or “dry heat saunas.” This isn’t the first time the Oklahoma Republican has gone after such taxpayer-funded frivolities. In all the hullabaloo over earmarks, it’s worth remembering that members of Congress can also slip what might be called anti-earmarks into legislation. We recently collected some classic examples of these “inappropriations,” including Coburn’s earlier attempt to reign in an outbreak of relaxation at the CDC, which had blown money on the aforementioned zero-g chairs, pastel lights, and saunas. No doubt a few more proposals to restrict who gets stimulus dollars will surface before the Senate’s done. And one anti-earmark in the House version of the bill is now moot—the one barring Illinois from receiving a single cent until Rod Blagojevic is no longer governor. 

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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