The tiny mouse that became a hotly disputed symbol of wasteful spending in the congressional debate over the $787 billion economic stimulus bill has returned to pester House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The Obama administration quietly announced last week that as much as $16.1 million from the stimulus program is going to save the San Francisco Bay area habitat of, among other things, the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse.
That has revived Republican criticism that the pet project was an "invisible earmark" in the massive spending bill for Mrs. Pelosi, whose San Francisco district abuts the bay, and epitomizes the failure of stimulus spending to help an economy still shedding jobs.
"Lo and behold, the government has announced that the mouse is getting its money after all," House Minority Leader John A. Boehner said while standing beside a poster of the furry varmint. "Speaker Pelosi must be so proud."
The Ohio Republican continued, "So let's get this straight: The stimulus isn't creating jobs for American workers, but it is making sure American harvest mice have nice comfortable homes in the midst of the recession."
Now Mr. Boehner, Nancy is just trying to help line her own nest for when she returns to her own habitat and species.