Monday, January 14, 2013

The Stench of Congress

Ah, yes.  Those poor victims of Sandy.

The first part is House Appropriations Chairman Rogers Sandy Supplemental bill, HR 152 as amended. This is the one that conservatives get to vote for, but it's far from perfect. HR 152 (including Rogers' amendment) clocks in at $17 billion. It includes:
  • $3 million for oil spill research;
  • $25 million for the failed Head Start daycare program; and
  • $3.9 billion for a new HUD disaster program. 
And that's just the "clean," conservative-friendly bill. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) will move to amend the bill to add enough pork to buy the votes needed for passage. The amendment adds another $33.67 billion to the price tag, including for such inappropriate spending as:
  • $16 billion for HUD to spend on any disaster "emergency" that was declared in 2011 and 2012, and any that will be declared in 2013 (meaning in 47 states plus Puerto Rico at the moment).
  • $2.02 billion for Federal Highway Administration to spend on roads first in Connecticut, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia whether they need Sandy-related repairs or not and then elsewhere in the country as FHA chooses;
  • $561 million for the Corps of Engineers to spend outside of areas affected by Sandy, including $10 million for a national Water Resources Priorities Study;
  • $100 million for Head Start;
  • $86 million for AMTRAK on non-Sandy capital improvements;
  • $40 million for military base repair and maintence, which includes spending for Guantanamo Bay;
  • $25 million for NOAA to improve weather forecasting;
  • $10 million for FBI salaries and expenses; and
  • $2 million for Smithsonian roof repairs.
Clearly, Frelinghuysen should be ........stopped.........before he introduces this bullshit.


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