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McCain, Coburn Hit 'Misdirected' Stimulus Spending

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. makes a point about stimulus projects as Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., waits his turn. Alex Brandon/AP hide caption

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Alex Brandon/AP

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has made a career of exposing what he considers wasteful government spending, first on congressional earmarks, more recently, projects funded by the $787 billion economic stimulus.

On Tuesday, he and fellow Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, released their latest list of what they consider to be dubious projects.

An excerpt from their statement that accompanied the report:

“We owe it to every American to rebuild our economy without doing additional harm and in a manner that expands opportunities for future generations of Americans. Job creation should be a national priority, but torrential, misdirected government spending is not the way to do it.”

Some projects that drew their finger-wagging in this year's report are included in this excerpt:

• $554,763 for the Forest Service to replace windows in a closed visitor center at Mount St. Helens

• $762,372 to create “Dance Draw” interactive dance software

• $62 million for a tunnel to nowhere in Pittsburgh, PA that even Governor, Ed Rendell called “a tragic mistake”

• $1.9 million for international ant research

• $1.8 million for a road project that is threatening a pastor’s home

• $308 million for a joint clean energy venture with…BP

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White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was asked for a reaction. Here's his exchange with a reporter:

REPORTER: Do you think it's a credible report?

MR. GIBBS:  From what I've read, no.