Earmark for museum honoring first ladies draws controversy

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Buried deep in the largest domestic spending bill of the year is money for a library and museum honoring first ladies. The $130,000 was requested by the local congressman, Representative Ralph Regula, Republican of Ohio. The library was founded by his wife, Mary A. Regula. The director of the library is his daughter, Martha A. Regula....

Senators John McCain of Arizona and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, both Republicans, cited the first ladies library as one of the more egregious. Mr. McCain said it illustrated the “many wasteful items tucked away in this bill.”

But Mr. Regula, the dean of the Ohio delegation, with 35 years in Congress, said the library “tells the story of first ladies and the contributions they have made to the nation.” More generally, he said, “I don’t have one earmark in any bill that I am not prepared to go to the mat on and defend to the taxpayer.”

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