"If you look at a Department of Defense appropriations bill," says Wheeler, "you'll not find very much pork in it. What you need to do is look at the committee report; 99% of the pork is in the committee report, not in the statute."
The committee report for the 2007 appropriations bill contained the data Heath was looking for, but in a barely decipherable code, and in small print. Heath identified 2,700 earmarks, worth around $12 billion, by hunting down the representatives' press releases and matching them with the data on the report.
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