- Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy site sold to owners of Townhall, HotAir: report
- GM’s Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- China: Poisonous smog is a military asset, if you think about it
- Texas woman admits to sending ricin to Obama
- Ron Paul on son Rand: ‘I think he probably will’ run for president
- Cold War heats up again in the Arctic: Russian airfield reactivated after 20 years
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Voters deciding Mass. congressional contest
- Holiday cheer: Airline grants Christmas wishes for 250 unsuspecting passengers
- U.S. vet held in North Korea says statement was coerced
Watchdog sees pork in Sandy relief bill
Christie fights for $51B in aid
As Congress takes up the second slice of relief money for Superstorm Sandy, the influential Club for Growth said Monday it will seek to punish the lawmakers who support the $51 billion package because it includes wasteful spending and pork that have nothing to do with reconstruction efforts in the Northeast.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, meanwhile, continued to ramp up pressure on Congress to pass the relief package, saying that the proposal before Congress “simply isn’t” a pork bill, and that he has been assured that the GOP-controlled House will handle the Sandy relief legislation in a similar fashion to how Congress handled federal assistance for victims of Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast, the tornado that slammed Joplin, Mo., and floods in Iowa.
“We don’t expect anything more than that, but will not accept anything less,” Mr. Christie said, after touring recovery efforts in Bradley Beach, N.J. “If they want to make new rules about disasters, well they picked the wrong state to make the new rules with, and we are going to continue to fight as hard as we need to.”
The dueling messages underscore the divisions within Republicans ranks over the relief package — a $17 billion bill and $34 billion amendment —- that the House is expected to vote on this week.
But Mr. Christie, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, and other elected leaders from the Northeast — and both sides of the political aisle — have been waiting on Congress to approve more emergency funding and harshly criticized the delay.
The funding was expected to be voted on two weeks ago, but House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, changed gears and pulled a proposal after Republican lawmakers raised questions about some of the spending that was unrelated to the relief efforts.
Still, the Club for Growth and other budget watchdogs, such as Taxpayers for Common Sense, say the $51 billion package that Congress is expected to consider this week also includes millions of dollars for Amtrak upgrades, FBI salaries and road projects in states not affected by the storm.
As a result, there are some questions about whether there is enough Republican support in the House to approve the new spending.
In a letter to lawmakers on Monday, Andy Roth, the Club for Growth’s vice president of government affairs, said lawmakers should oppose the Sandy relief package — a $17 billion bill and $34 billion amendment — that Congress is expected to take up this week and said disaster relief legislation should be offset with spending cuts elsewhere and not larded up with what the groups calls pork projects.
“These voters will be included in the Club for Growth’s 2013 congressional scorecard,” said Mr. Roth, explaining that the scorecard grades lawmakers on how well they support what the group deems as pro-growth, free-market policies.
“Congress shouldn’t keep passing massive ‘emergency’ relief bills that aren’t paid for, have little oversight, and are stuffed with pork,” Mr. Roth said. “Also, Congress shouldn’t use disasters like Hurricane Sandy as an excuse to spend billions on long-term projects that should be considered during the regular appropriations process.”
Mr. Christie, though, said the original proposal that passed out of the Senate has been “stripped down to be a clean Sandy bill.”
“Yeah, there was some extra spending that was put in there, in the Senate bill, but the House has stripped that out,” he said. “So, all these folks on TV that are yapping about it’s a pork bill — it simply isn’t.”
Ahead of the expected vote Tuesday, the House on Monday voted 403 to 0 to pass a proposal that aims to streamline disaster aid, speeding up the way in which FEMA distributes funds.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Obama's IRS nominee John Koskinen vows to restore public trust in agency
- Senate confirms Obama judge following filibuster rule change
- Sen. Rand Paul: 'I am seriously thinking about' running for president in 2016
- Sen. Rand Paul pushes 'economic freedom zones' for Detroit
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
Latest Blog Entries
- Senate Conservative Fund backs GOP primary challenger to Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts
- GOP rolls out ad targeting Dems over Obamacare
- Club for Growth won't get involved in GOP primary in Texas
- Rep. Steny Hoyer: Details of potential budget deal unknown
- House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer: No extremists on our side of the aisle
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whiskey: U.K.-born expert
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- FITTON: A closer look at the Benghazi lie
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Troops forced to rely on welfare, holiday charity
- Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- PRUDEN: Waiting for Nelson Mandela without the tears
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Global economy, the civilizing power of markets and public morals.
News and opinion from a Millennial Urbanite with Southern sensibilities,
Notes from a running nerd: musings and more on all things running.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow