Since when does reconstruction costs for a natural disaster in NY and NJ include billions of dollars for slush funds, weather forecasting, ocean zoning plans, FBI salaries, road construction across the country, funding for the Head Start program, roof repairs at the Smithsonian, and fisheries across the country?
Answer: When it gets in the hands of feckless assholes in Congress.
Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) sponsored an amendment that would have administered a 1.63% cut to discretionary programs to fund the $17 billion baseline bill. “The time has come and gone in this nation where we can walk in here one day and spend nine or 17 or 60 billion dollars and not think about who’s paying for it,” said Rep. Mulvaney.
However, the measure was defeated 162-258. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) voted against the Mulvaney amendment; Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) voted for it. Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Hal Rogers (R-KY) blasted the effort to offset spending, saying it would involve “devastating slash and burn cuts” that would “totally discriminate, cutting the good and the bad.”
On top of the $17 billion bill, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) offered another amendment that added $33.7 billion to the aid package. That measure passed 228-192, with 20 Republicans from unaffected areas voting for it. As Human Events notes, the Frelinghuysen amendment was loaded with superfluous spending, including “$500 million for weather forecasting and to help create an ocean zoning plan–the later one of Obama’s pet projects. Also included are $10 million for FBI salaries $2 billion for road construction across the country, as well as funding for the Head Start program, roof repairs at the Smithsonian, and $150 million for fisheries across the country.”
The third piece of the relief package involved a $9 billion bill passed earlier this month for the National Flood Insurance Program.
But as with most legislative efforts, say critics, the devil is in the details. Take, for example, the Frelinghuysen amendment. According to Patrick Louis Knudsen of the Heritage Foundation:
“One of the most stunning elements in the amendment is $16 billion for the Community Development Block Grant, a slush fund that states and localities can hand out pretty much anywhere they choose. The amendment contains several pages of language ostensibly aimed at restricting use of the funds, but also says they can be applied to “other eligible events in calendar years 2011, 2012, and 2013.” It’s just a guess, but events in 2011 and 2013 are not likely the result of Hurricane Sandy. This is the kind of spending that helps unravel coherent budgeting and contributes to chronic, trillion-dollar deficits.”
American Majority Action, which emerged as an early leader in opposing efforts to pack pork into the Sandy relief package, says neither the $17 billion base bill nor the $33 billion Frelinghuysen amendment offset spending, and less than 20% of the aid they promise will be received in 2013.
In an email to Breitbart News, American Majority Action Press Secretary Ron Meyer said big spending Republicans have much to explain:
“Republicans run the House of Representatives, yet, somehow, the House passed a pork-ridden, unpaid-for bill. More than 80 percent of this supposed ‘emergency’ bill will be spent after 2013, and $1 of every $20 will be spent on pork projects. Of all bills, did we really need to load up Sandy aid with pork? How much lower can Congress get?
America has come to expect this disgraceful behavior from Democrats, but now, under Speaker Boehner, get ready for more bills like this one. Less than 20 percent of House Republicans supported this measure. Speaker Boehner and the liberal-leaning Republicans worked with Democrats to pass it anyway.
Expect this coalition of liberal-leaning Republicans and liberal Democrats to continue. They are now the voting majority.”
Wednesday, Mike Flynn of Breitbart News said the 20 Republicans who voted for the pork-laden Frelinghuysen amendment may now face stiff primary opposition.
The Senate is expected to take action on the House bill next week.
So much for having a GOP majority in Congress. You would think that after all the hell we raised to get that accomplished during the 2010 mid term elections, they would have heeded our anger over out-of-control, irresponsible government spending. This latest taxpayer funded monstrosity clearly shows that little has changed.
The RINOs who voted yea:
Rodney Alexander (La.), Lou Bartletta (Pa.), Tom Cole (Okla.), Jeff Denham (Calif.), Charles Dent (Pa.), Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.), Michael Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Rodney Frelinghuyse (N.J.), Jim Gerlach (Pa.), Chris Gibson (N.Y.), Michael Grimm (N.Y.), Richard Hanna (N.Y.), Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.), Peter King (N.Y.), Leonard Lance (N.J.), Frank LoBiondo (N.J.), Frank Lucas (Okla.), Tom Marino (Pa.), Buck McKeon (Calif.), Pat Meehan (Pa.), Tom Reed (N.Y.), David Reichert (Wash.), Harold Rogers (Ky.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.), Jon Runyon (N.J.), Jim Shimkus (Ill.), Chris Smith (N.J.), Don Young (Alaska), C.W. Bill Young (Fla).
We are at a $16+ trillion debt. What the hell do they think they’re doing?
Some of the Republicans acted as insane as the Democrats on the House floor:
“Florida, good luck with no more hurricanes,” Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) shouted to any member who might oppose the bill. “California, congratulations, did you get rid of the Andreas Fault? The Mississippi’s in a drought. Do you think you’re not going to have a flood again?
“Who are you going to come to when you have these things? We need this, we need it now. Do the right thing, as we have always done for you.”
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a similar warning to members who oppose the bill.
“I hope that we can have an overwhelming bipartisan vote,” she said. “I think that ideally… that would be the right thing to do.
“But as a practical matter, you just never know what mother nature may have in store for you in your region, and you would certainly want the embrace of the entire nation around you and your area, for your constituents, for your communities, for our country.”
Leave it to Pelosi to exploit the aftermath of a hurricane to inject her own perverted idea of ‘patriotism’.
Scores of Republicans ignored these warnings and voted to either cut the bill or offset parts of it with cuts elsewhere. But there were not enough deficit hawks to overcome the many Republicans who favored the bill as it was presented, along with nearly every Democrat.
It’s more pillaging of taxpayer’s money, period. It’s how the Kleptocracy rolls.