Tom ColburnSenator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) introduced his annual report, "2011 Wastebook,” noting, “This report details 100 of the countless unnecessary, duplicative, or just plain stupid projects spread throughout the federal government and paid for with your tax dollars this year.” He added, "Over the past 12 months, Washington politicians argued, debated and lamented about how to reign [sic] in the federal government’s out of control spending. All the while, Washington was on a shopping binge, spending money we do not have on things we do not need, like the $6.9 billion worth of examples provided in this report."

Congressmen long ago granted themselves the privilege of mailing items to constituents at taxpayers’ expense, a process called “franking.” Usually such a mailing amounts to a barely disguised plea for reelection, bragging about how much pork the congressman has brought home and listing services he offers to his constituents.

Debate over the payroll tax cut remains heated as House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio, left) demanded from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) a year-long tax cut. The challenge threw another wrench into the negotiations on the deal, which, if not reached by the New Year, will result in an increase in payroll taxes as the present payroll tax reduction expires.

Trent FranksPro-life Congressman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) has introduced a bill that would prohibit abortionists from killing babies based on their sex or race. Under the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PreNDA), individuals convicted of coercing a woman into getting an abortion because of her baby’s sex or race could face up to five years in jail for the crime. Additionally, the abortionist facilitating the coerced killing could be prosecuted.

DEA moneyAs the “Fast and Furious” gun-trafficking scandal continues to grow, Congress is now investigating a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) program that was laundering money for Mexican cartels. Meanwhile, multiple cartel leaders and reports continue to suggest that the federal government is deeply involved in the narcotics and arms trades.