October 8, 2002 - The Syracuse Post Standard: RPCV James Walsh considered one of the most influential men in Washington

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RPCV James Walsh considered one of the most influential men in Washington

Read and comment on this story from the The Syracuse Post Standard on Nepal RPCV James Walsh who as chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee overseeing programs on veterans, housing, the environment and space is considered one of the most influential men in Washington at:

Walsh directs $60M back home*

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Walsh directs $60M back home

Legislation unveiled shows congressman's influence on House appropriations.

October 08, 2002

By Mark Libbon

Staff writer

When Congress gets around to financing the federal government for next year, more than $60 million should flow to projects in Central New York through the annual spending plan under the control of Rep. James Walsh.
From Our Advertiser

The legislation unveiled Monday continues funding for significant long-term efforts: $12 million more for the Onondaga Lake cleanup and an additional $5 million for the Syracuse Neighborhood Initiative.

It also gives a $7.65 million boost to the research budget of the Center of Excellence at Syracuse University, specializing in the study of indoor environments.

The bill promises $1 million toward a new science education building at LeMoyne College and another $1 million to the Everson Museum of Art for its expansion plan.

Walsh, R-Onondaga, continues to reap the benefits of his position as chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee overseeing programs on veterans, housing, the environment and space.

Critics of the system point to the earmarked projects as wasteful spending on unjustified "pork," but Walsh contends that members of Congress serve a useful role in gauging the special needs of their districts.

As a chairman overseeing $122 billion in spending, Walsh also is expected to look out for the needs of New York state and New York City. His bill, for example, contains $5 million each for the centers of excellence in Buffalo and Rochester; $4 million for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City; and $6 million to protect the watershed that provides drinking water to New York City.

"It's really critical for New York state to have a chairman of a committee like this," said Walsh, who is running for re-election next month against Democratic challenger Stephanie Aldersley of Rochester.

"It's essential that we be represented at the table," he said. "It's building for the future, creating new jobs and attracting smart people."

Walsh warned, however, that the earmarked projects could be jeopardized in this unusually slow session of Congress, which has already failed to enact its spending bills by the Oct. 1 start of the fiscal year.

None of the 13 appropriations bills will be made final before Congress breaks in the next two weeks for the elections. Walsh said he wants Congress to hold a

lame-duck session after Election Day to conclude its work on appropriations. Otherwise, he said, all bets are off.

The money for Onondaga Lake - $12 million from the Environmental Protection Agency - brings to more than $110 million the federal share of the $380 million project to improve the wastewater system that discharges into the lake.

The $5 million in money to improve housing in Syracuse comes on top of the $31 million already in the pipeline from previous years. The money goes to neighborhood projects throughout the city.

© 2002 The Post-Standard. Used with permission.

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