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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