Enough is Never Enough

Apparently, the 60.4 billion dollars of deficit spending that Congress approved in response to Hurricane Sandy just wasn’t enough for some folks.  We’re looking at you Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) (sub. req’d).

She wants to authorize even more spending (presumably that will add to the deficit) to help prepare the region for future extreme weather events.  When you have a penchant for spending like Sen. Gillibrand, sad to say, you’re in good company in the Senate.

Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-DE) have also “plead[ed] for investments in infrastructure that will stand up to future storms.”  Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is right there with them, cheerleading for the Army Corps of Engineers.  She called a hearing to focus on how Congress can “expedite” and “improve” management of the Corps.

Her timing is impeccable!

Might we suggest it would have been more fruitful to consider the Corps’ inefficiency before they were awarded millions of dollars in the Sandy supplemental

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Email Your Representative to Oppose the Hurricane Sandy Supplemental Spending

Yesterday, we formally announced that the vote on H.R. 152 would appear on our Legislative Scorecard. Most of the spending in this bill would happen during the 2014 fiscal year and would be spent on programs completely unrelated to hurricane relief. Opposing this kind of wasteful spending is a small first step in reining in a runaway federal government.

Use this form to email your Representative to oppose using Hurricane Sandy as an excuse for more wasteful spending.

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Cronyism in Sandy Politics

When it comes to asking for money in Washington, there is often more than meets the eye.  Of course, that should come as no surprise because special interest lobbying is in this city’s DNA. What may be surprising, though, is even the aid package intended for victims of Superstorm Sandy isn’t immune from such horse trading.

Politico reports:

PORT AUTHORITIES HIRE UP FOR SANDY RELIEF: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the congressional delegations from New York and New Jersey aren’t the only ones pushing for emergency funds for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Senate lobbying disclosures show that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey signed with Mitch Rose of Mitch Rose Strategic Consulting last month to lobby for supplemental appropriations for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. DLA Piper and Venable are among the firms that have previously lobbied on behalf of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Through September, the group had spent $150,000 on lobbying the federal government.

These pricey lobbying efforts seem remarkably out of touch, especially if the main concern here is to get emergency aid to the families that have been affected by Sandy.  It’s yet another reminder that things are never what they seem in Washington.

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Liberals Tell Conservatives to Have a Little Heart

UPDATE (January 2 @ 4:32 PM): The House will be voting Friday on $9 billion in disaster aid for Superstorm Sandy and then will have another vote on $51 billion in aid on January 15.  We will keep up with new developments as this unfolds.

As usual, liberal lawmakers are forced to argue on the plane of emotion and feelings with regard to the Sandy supplemental.  Due in part to the rushed vote on the plan to avert the fiscal cliff, and also due to conservative opposition in the House to another $60.4 billion in deficit spending, the House is unlikely to vote on the supplemental spending bill before the new Congress is sworn in on Thursday, according to CQ (sub. req’d).

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said:

 “It is truly heartless that the House will not even allow the Sandy bill to come to the floor for a vote, and Speaker Boehner should reconsider his ill-advised decision.”

Liberals want conservatives to have a little heart?  Cardiac muscle is great, but gray matter is too.  

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Latest Development on Sandy Supplemental

Although the Senate is poised to approve the Sandy supplemental today, CQ reports (sub. req’d) that the full Congress may wait until 2013 before sending a Sandy supplemental to President Obama.  CQ argues this will “strengthen the hand of conservatives who are seeking to reduce spending in the bill.”

While some Democrats in the Senate are expressing a sense of urgency to pass the Sandy supplemental now, if it is delayed until the next Congress, a spending measure will have to originate in the House.  The House Appropriations Committee has been examining the President’s request closely and following up with the agencies involved in the recovery.  So it is not as though the House is sitting idle – a common though false claim made by Senate Democrats – or that they will be unable to act promptly on this in the next Congress. 

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