House To Vote On Partial Sandy Relief Bill Friday

Most in the Legacy Media are referring to this as some sort of capitulation from John Boehner, instead of an understanding that the Senate porked up the Sandy bill

(US News) Cowing to bipartisan pressure, House Speaker John Boehner is bringing to the House floor Friday a measure to help fund recovery efforts for Hurricane Sandy, the superstorm that wreaked havoc in the Northeast, particularly ravaging New York and New Jersey.

Boehner had sought to delay passage of the $60 billion Senate-passed bill, which some in his party say is larded with unnecessary spending. But the speaker was pilloried by members of his own caucus—including a particularly scathing speech by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Wednesday—and promised to bring the spending measure to the floor in two steps: a vote Friday on a $9 billion infusion of cash to the National Flood Insurance Program and a vote January 15 on the remaining $51 billion proposal.

Christie and Peter King (R-NY) need to look within themselves, but, like many supposed fiscal conservatives, they abandon principles when they themselves want the money. Either of them could have said “pull the pork, give us a clean bill.” One NY politician took a principled stand. Too bad Christie and King didn’t.

Let’s look at a bit of that pork

The pork-barrel feast includes more than $8 million to buy cars and equipment for the Homeland Security and Justice departments. It also includes a whopping $150 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to dole out to fisheries in Alaska and $2 million for the Smithsonian Institution to repair museum roofs in DC.

An eye-popping $13 billion would go to “mitigation” projects to prepare for future storms.

Other big-ticket items in the bill include $207 million for the VA Manhattan Medical Center; $41 million to fix up eight military bases along the storm’s path, including Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; $4 million for repairs at Kennedy Space Center in Florida; $3.3 million for the Plum Island Animal Disease Center and $1.1 million to repair national cemeteries.

And

  • $58.8 million for forest restoration on private land.
  • $197 million “to… protect coastal ecosystems and habitat impacted by Hurricane Sandy.”
  • $10.78 billion for public transportation, most of which is allocated to future construction and improvements, not disaster relief.
  • $17 billion for wasteful Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), a program that has become notorious for its use as a backdoor earmark program.

And

  • $199 million in tax breaks for rum makers.
  • $188 million for upgrading, not repairing, Amtrak rail lines.
  • $57 million for tracking debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami.
  • $20 million for a national “water priorities” study.

So, almost half the bill is stuffed full of lard, which, yes, does have something to do with the effects of Sandy, but not in the NY/NJ area. Many of the projects were meant for Republican votes

Why, you might ask, would the Senate be packing billions of taxpayer dollars for these areas of the country that are nowhere near the devastation brought about by superstorm Sandy into a bill designed to bring relief to those suffering from the storm that ripped the northeastern part of the nation?

The answer can be found in a quick review of the states that are set to benefit from the Senate’s extra-special benevolence—states including Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana.

The Senate bill was buying off Republicans, who voted for the bill. Now, it’s up to Boehner to strip the bill for the January 15th vote.

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6 Comments

Comment by Anne
2013-01-04 09:56:21

What a lot of people don’t know about Chris Cristie is that he was a registered and longtime liberal Democrat before he ran for governor on phony pretexts.

I dare say that he is still a Democrat, not even a Rino.

So I wouldn’t give any credence to his criticisms of any Republicans.

In fact, I, for one, wouldn’t give any credence to any of his opinions on any issue, and that’s putting it tactfully.

I put him in the category of Geraldo Rivera, Ed Schultz, Alan Combs, Chis Matthews, Juan Williams, Rachel Maddow, Bob Beckel and Al Sharpton – people I tune-out whenever they’re on TV.

 
Comment by Gumball_Brains Subscribed to comments via email
2013-01-04 10:50:34

Why is NY/NJ getting a relief bill anyway? All this is, is another federal program bailout. This is designed to increase the debt limit and re-fund the Catastrophic and Flood Insurance program run by the Feds.

Why? Please explain how this storm is so much more important than any other storm that they need EXTRA dedicated monies? It’s been how many months since the storm, and the states are wanting the FEDS to do something RIGHT NOW!!!! and yet they are letting their own people down?

How about you take care of your own people before you start demanding repayment. I love the citizens who are demanding Congress help them, and are utterly incapable of realizing that the people to blame are their local reps and state party people. But no, it must be the fault of a congressman from wyoming.

People in the south affected by tornados only get loans. odd that, huh?

I’m starting to lump Republicans in with Demorats – people who are not for a successful and prosperous America. We definitely need to make Conservatism a real political party. Especially in light of recent big spending moves by renowned Republicans.

If you can’t stand on morality and principles, then what good are you as a human?

 
Comment by William Teach
2013-01-04 11:24:03

Good points, Anne. He’s somewhat right leaning when it comes to NJ, but, really a Blue Dog Democrat.

Why, GB? Pretty much because the Central Planning Office is there to take care of each and every one of us when Something Big Happens, in order to look like they are Doing Something and get re-elected.

Of course, if our homes were damaged by a storm or burned down, Los Federales wouldn’t rush in to help us out. We’d be on our own. But, when it’s big disaster relief, they feel the need to spend money that should be dealt with by the locals, the State, and the individuals.

 
Comment by Gumball_Brains Subscribed to comments via email
2013-01-04 11:43:18

Why is the federal flood insurance program getting bailed out anyway? I would be a kite-flying hippy liberal commie should it turn out that there were more than a handful of people in NY and NJ area that actually paid for the National Flood Insurance program.

 
Comment by Gumball_Brains Subscribed to comments via email
2013-01-04 19:53:33

don’t forget…
$4 million to electric motorcycle makers

 
Comment by Gumball_Brains Subscribed to comments via email
2013-01-04 23:39:00

FHA is looking like it will be bailed out as well.

 

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