What looks like a greatly needed bill by it’s title, turns out to be laden with Congressional pet projects and pork. Folks made fun of those who voted against the Clean Water Act for similar reasons… I mean it IS Clean Water… who could possible be against that? Same goes for this bill, the Sandy Relief package has a few items that don’t seem to fit.
Don’t ever let a Crisis go to waste. I mean you have a Hurricane and people need relief, whats wrong with adding a few items for the greater good?
Here is the list
•$2 million to repair damage to the roofs of museums in Washington, D.C., while many in Hurricane Sandy’s path still have no roof over their own heads.
•$150 million for fisheries as far away from the storm’s path as Alaska.
•$125 million for the Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Watershed Protection program, which helps restore watersheds damaged by wildfires and drought.
•$20 million for a nationwide Water Resources Priorities Study.
•$15 million for NASA facilities, though NASA itself has called its damage from the hurricane ‘minimal.’
•$50 million in subsidies for tree planting on private properties.
•$336 million for taxpayer-supported AMTRAK without any detailed plan for how the money will be spent.
•$5.3 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers – more than the Corps’ annual budget – with no statement of priorities about how to spend the money.
•$12.9 billion for future disaster mitigation activities and studies, without identifying a single way to pay for it.
But ask those in DC why Alaska fisheries money and other items listed above is needed in a Hurricane Bill and you will get some very good reason that Alaska Salmon is needed in Sandy relief:
Many news outlets are reporting that President Obama’s proposed $60.4 billion federal aid bill for Hurricane Sandy victims is packed with pork. I contacted my White House insider, Deep Mole, to get some answers.
Purcell: Isn’t this another example of reckless politicians exploiting an emergency to fund pet projects and pork?
Deep Mole: Pet projects? Pork? There is no pork in the president’s proposal.
Purcell: You’re nuts. As this bill worked its way through the Senate before Christmas, Democrats slipped in all kinds of non-emergency goodies. Then they offered more goodies to Republicans to win their support.
Deep Mole: Goodies?
Purcell: Why does the bill include $2 million to repair roof damage at Smithsonian buildings in Washington, D.C.?
Deep Mole: The Smithsonian is a national treasure that Sandy victims may one day visit. We must make sure they are not traumatized by leaky museum roofs!
Purcell: Nice try, my friend. Why does the emergency bill include $336 million for Amtrak-related expenses?
Deep Mole: Amtrak is a common mode of transportation for New York residents to travel to Washington and go to the Smithsonian. We must make sure Sandy victims are not traumatized by broken-down trains.
Purcell: You are clever. Then explain why the emergency bill includes $8 million to buy new cars for federal agencies.
Deep Mole: Many federal agencies are assisting Sandy victims. They need new cars from government-owned General Motors to drive to the areas where government services are most needed.
Purcell: You’re good. Then explain why the bill includes $150 million for fisheries in Mississippi and Alaska.
@politisite Alaska fisheries stuff was pulled from bill that passed Senate. The “mitigation” isn’t strictly “pork” despite no pay-for.
— Robert A George (@RobGeorge) January 2, 2013