According to the New York Post, the Sandy relief plan includes more than $8 million to buy cars and equipment for the Homeland Security and Justice departments. Plus $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. There is also $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.
Matt Mayer of the conservative Heritage Foundation slammed the request as an “enormous Christmas gift worth of stuff.”
“The funding here should be focused on helping the community and the people, not replacing federal assets or federal items,” he said.
Republican lawmakers say the lack of details and justifications for the spending will delay approval until after Christmas, while they analyze and document what spending is “appropriate.”
“To throw out a number this large without in-depth analysis and formal request detailing the basis for it I think is premature and I wouldn’t support that,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).How can members of congress (or the POTUS) add pork in an environment where both parties are worried about federal spending (even if only one party is serious about it). This bill should be tossed back to the Potus and/or congress until the pork is gone!