Congress padding ‘absurdly high’ Sandy relief bill

Sandy hurricaneUsing Rahm Emmanuel’s oft-quoted maxim, “never let a serious crisis go to waste,” federal lawmakers are now using the devastation from superstorm Sandy’s aftermath to line the pockets of their constituents.

U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-NY, is worried that supplemental relief for Sandy’s victims will not be forthcoming this year, and perhaps not ever. He has a special interest in this — he’s both chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and his district was hard-hit by the storm.

King posted his frustrations on Twitter.

“Doing all I can, but if Congress doesn’t approve Sandy aid for NY before Christmas, I don’t think it’ll get done. Too many oppose it in DC,” his Saturday Twitter statement said.

King has the support from fellow New Yorker Sen. Charles Schumer, a Democrat.

“I’ve been concerned to see some reservations expressed by some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, and many of these concerns are myths,” Schumer said Thursday in an impassioned floor speech.

They have every right to be worried and they have their fellow-lawmakers to blame.

According to a Fox News report, King’s colleagues have used the Sandy $60.4 billion supplemental relief bill to tack on their own pet projects.

A closer look at the legislation shows millions of dollars being requested by lawmakers for projects that have little to do with the storm. Some items, like a proposed $2 million roof restoration for the Smithsonian Institution, even pre-date Sandy, causing some to question the finer details of the federal funding package.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., called the $60 billion request “absurdly high.”

“How much is absolutely needed now? That’s all we should really be considering now, the short-term needs,” he said.

Many of the items tacked onto the bill aren’t even remotely related to Sandy, including military base repairs in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, establishing Alaskan and Gulf Coast fisheries and Colorado wildfire protection.

This is all proof positive that Washington does indeed have a spending problem.

Read more at Fox News.

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About Michael Dorstewitz

Mike has been with BizPac Review almost from the beginning. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeBPR.

  • Big Dem

    Remember when the Democrats slow-walked the relief in New Orleans and the press hammered Bush daily? Remember news reporters crying on TV utside the Superdome? Where are they now? It has been over a month and New York is still waiting, but what does the press say on Obama's failure here? Silence. Typical from the propaganda machine the America press has become for socialism. Thank God for Bizpac!

  • linda

    i think we need to get some aid there quickly, heck, we send it all over the world, HOWEVER, the amount they're asking for is padded with pay offs to those in charge. cut the amount and get it done

  • Luther Henry

    Is there any wonder why we are broke and will be for a very, very long time. Corruption breeds like flies and becomes a game of one upsmanship. "Hey they are doing it, why shouldn't we"? I do not see how we can continue down this path, the ones who really desperately need help are being ignored because the ruling class gets greedy, when they see the big money available and use it to their own advantage.

  • anita davis

    Hey,New Jersey was also in the path of Sandy and MANY here are suffering!! They too are jumping through the ropes to find relief!!

  • Kaye McElroy

    Power breeds corruption and we have a very corrupt government. Will our country ever regain its superiority in this world? Not likely with all these corrupt politicians. We've got to put God back in everything or our country will end up a 3rd world country and that seems to be exactly what O'bama and his administration want. All I can say is everyone needs to fast & pray for mercy from Almighty God.