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U.S. News and Commentary



Wednesday
Jan022013

Sandy relief bill an insult to victims of storm; House right to exercise caution

Followup to Pork goes wild in Sandy relief bill muddled by bureaucratic ineptitude

Coast Guard officers meet with representatives from an oil spill removal organization, to identify hazardous materials in Bayonne, N.J. left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Nov. 10, 2012. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Tara Molle)Nothing brings out the inner Leftist like a good crisis. Fate certainly smiled on Obama when Hurricane Sandy rolled in, providing him a national forum he put to good use for his reelection.

Fate didn’t smile on the victims at all, and continues the same treatment when it comes to disaster relief.

House Speaker John Boehner is being assailed because the bill hasn’t been passed yet. But the bill described by one senator as the “vehicle” for disaster appropriations in 2013 is deliberately vague, downright puzzling and unnecessarily burdened with questionable spending.

Consider this. According to Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), “CBO [Congressional Budget Office] reports that both the President’s request and the Senate bill would spend nearly two-thirds of their total amount in fiscal year 2015 and later years.”

Of the $60.407 billion in “budget authority” the bill, H.R. 1, contains, only $8.974 billion would be spent in 2013.

Logic would dictate pushing through a bill in that amount quickly with no complications in the legislation. Instead, the Senate Committee on Appropriations led by veteran appropriator Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) loaded up this bill with unnecessary complications like roof repairs for the Smithsonian and $15.25 million to the Dept. of Justice.

There’s more than $21 billion tucked in for the Dept. of Homeland Security.

Boehner said on Tuesday the House will vote on Friday on $9 billion.

Another vote for the rest of the relief funding is scheduled for January 15.

Gov. Chris Christie (R) has criticized Boehner for delays in Sandy relief, but the creators of the Senate bill deserve a large amount of criticism for packing a bill with generalities that would surely result in fraud and waste associated with other storms liberals politicized like Katrina

The fact that the Sandy relief process became bogged down as it did is a reflection of weak leadership in the Senate more than any other body.

Don’t expect Democrats’ media friends to be honest with you about this bill. They’re too busy campaigning against Republicans, taking a page perhaps from Dem Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.)

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Jan. 2, 2013)

 

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