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Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Sandy-Relief Bill Stuffed Full Of Non-Sandy Related Pork

By Susan Duclos

Republicans need to strip the pork that is stuffed into the so-called Sandy Relief billbefore even considering passing such a measure.

Via Town Hall, here is a list of non-Sandy related pork that was stuffed into the bill now being dubbed as the Sandy Scam:

The pork-barrel feast includes more than $8 million to buy cars and equipment for the Homeland Security and Justice departments. It also includes a whopping $150 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to dole out to fisheries in Alaska and $2 million for the Smithsonian Institution to repair museum roofs in DC.

An eye-popping $13 billion would go to “mitigation” projects to prepare for future storms.

Other big-ticket items in the bill include $207 million for the VA Manhattan Medical Center; $41 million to fix up eight military bases along the storm’s path, including Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; $4 million for repairs at Kennedy Space Center in Florida; $3.3 million for the Plum Island Animal Disease Center and $1.1 million to repair national cemeteries.

Budget watchdogs have dubbed the 94-page emergency-spending bill “Sandy Scam.”
$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.

The media is having a field day pretending that House Republicans hung Sandy victims out to dry, but unless a relief bill actually provides relief and not totally unrelated spending which has nothing to do with helping Sandy victims, then the bill should die, be stripped of the pork, then passed.