Kentucky dam project

Stossel investigates which state benefited the most from the government budget deal


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 22, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Stossel Matters Segment" tonight, politics as usual, this time from perhaps, perhaps the Republican Party. As you may know, Congress approved temporary funding for the government last week, kept it open. But, in that deal, $2.9 billion was allotted for a water project between Kentucky and Illinois.

Here now to explain how that could possibly happen, Fox Business anchor, John Stossel. So, some are accusing Mitch McConnell, the big shot senator from Kentucky putting this pork in of $3 billion for this water project. Is that true?

JOHN STOSSEL, FBN HOST: No. Poor Mitch. There is a lot I could criticize him for but is he being smeared for this.

O'REILLY: Is he? Is that true, really?

STOSSEL: He is. He denies he put it in and Harry Reid and Dianne Feinstein agree. They say he didn't do it. We did it.

O'REILLY: He didn't have anything to do with it.

STOSSEL: Dianne Feinstein says I approved the money. It passed both Houses before. Why now? Because there is no money. This isn't funded. It shuts down, that would be terrible. Barge traffic and this river is important. We wanted to fund it but because it's part --

O'REILLY: But why slot it into a government funding -- why put that in when there is 50, 100 projects all over the country?

STOSSEL: Why put in money for the widow of Frank Lautenberg who has already got $16 million.

O'REILLY: That was in there, too, right.

STOSSEL: That's much more offensive --

O'REILLY: Ok. But --

STOSSEL: -- of all the things to put in.

O'REILLY: -- what the folks are probably asking now is, when you have this bill, why just not have this bill and then put that into -- why sneak this in?

STOSSEL: They always sneak things in. They like to spend wherever they can. What I think is wonderful is for the first time people are saying oh, I didn't do it. They used to brag. Mitch McConnell ran ads last election bragging about he got the first funding for this dam. So if now they're saying --

O'REILLY: Whoa, whoa, whoa -- so Mitch McConnell bragged he got the first funding but now he's saying --

STOSSEL: -- several years ago.

O'REILLY: -- he didn't get the rest?

STOSSEL: Right. Now it's on automatic pilot --

O'REILLY: No, no, no, no.


O'REILLY: Forgive me for being skeptical here. They needed McConnell on board, forget this funding bill done, all right, the compromise done. They needed him. Ok?

You're telling me that he -- this wasn't part of the quid pro quo, Mitch comes on and he does this, it negates Cruz and the Tea Party people a little so, we'll just cover him, Reid will cover him. What does Feinstein care about some water project in Kentucky? What does she care? This looks to me like, hey --

STOSSEL: -- I can't prove that that's not true.

O'REILLY: Aren't you skeptical about this?

STOSSEL: I'm skeptical of the other Kentucky congressman Rogers who builds pork for himself.

O'REILLY: It's not Rogers. Rand Paul is the other -- oh, the congressman.

STOSSEL: The congressman -- he is head of the appropriations committee. You are talking about Republican pork, pick on him in this case.

O'REILLY: All right. I just -- it's -- something doesn't add up on this. I'm not saying the project is bad. I guess they do need it, right? It's $3 billion.

STOSSEL: The government should do less. But one thing it should do is help navigation and rivers, build a dam. I'm not saying this is a good product so --

O'REILLY: Just summing up. John Stossel is telling me, all right, that Dianne Feinstein, a liberal from California, is heavily invested --

STOSSEL: I'm quoting her here.

O'REILLY: -- in a water project between Kentucky and Illinois. She did it -- that's what you are telling me.

STOSSEL: For the public good.

O'REILLY: All right, Stossel. We have no evidence to the contrary, ladies and gentlemen. I'm just a little skeptical here.

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