The Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill is a prime example of what is wrong with Washington and why the reason NOT to cut spending is the biggest lame excuse as to why it can't be done.
$150 million for Alaskan fisheries, $2 million to the Smithsonian to repair roofs and $8 million to Homeland Security and the Justice Department to buy cars. And that's just the start. No, this is not Stimulus Part 2, this is the Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill, rightfully dubbed the "Sandy Scam."
As Matt Kibbe pointed out earlier, the Sandy Scam Bill whose total price tag is $60.4 billion, also contains:
- $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.
Senate Democrats are hoping to pass the bill before it gets too much attention. According to the Washington Times, "the Senate bill bypassed the committee process and is coming straight to the floor, where Majority Leader Reid announced that he would allow amendments — though he said he hopes to speed the bill through the chamber “very quickly.”"
"Out of the $60.4 billion in requested funding, about $55 billion is emergency spending above the spending levels authorized by the Budget Control Act," Kibbe said. While we're careening off the fiscal cliff, reckless lawmakers plan to spend more money we do not have and spend it on fish, no less. According to the New York Post, even Mayor Bloomberg is unimpressed. "You would think they’d want to ask questions before they give away the public’s money," Bloomberg said.
Thousands of people were affected by Hurrican Sandy, many perished, homes were destroyed, communities annihilated and lives forever changed. But rather than focusing on providing desperately needed assistance to storm victims, Democratic lawmakers seek to capitalize on their tragedy by paying off cronies back home under the guise of emergency aid.
$150 million on fish... honestly.