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Bond supports earmarks; points to lead programs

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – U.S. Senator Kit Bond says earmarks are helping St. Louis become lead-free.

As the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds housing Bond helped allocate $150 million over three years for an initiative to help cities with lead abatement.

St. Louis has received $7 million through the Housing and Urban Development program.

Bond alluded to recent debate in Congress over the use of earmarks, or special funding slipped into bills for local projects.

There are some in Washington who object to earmarks, Bond said. They say that members of Congress should not be able to specify how federal funds should be spent. I'd be happy to stand by what we did on this program. And I'm proud to have earmarked that. I don't care what they say about earmarks.

Bond says an additional 15-million dollars has gone to the Grace Hill Neighborhood Health Center for a program to prevent lead poisoning.

The senator, HUD Secretary Alfonso Jackson, and Children's Health Forum chairman Dr. Benjamin Hooks and co-chairman Jack Kemp were in St. Louis Monday to discuss lead poisoning.