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$51-billion Sandy relief bill in jeopardy of not passing House

…Just another Pork filled piece of legislation that everyone involved should be ashamed.

The bill has the support of every House Democrat and every Republican House member from New York and New Jersey, but still needs five votes to pass the chamber, according to the Daily News.

At first glance it seems unthinkable that this bit of legislation doesn’t have the support of everyone.  After all, it has been over 100 days and there are people in New York and New Jersey that are in dire need of help as a result of the “super storm” Sandy.  Why would anyone want to withhold aid to people in need?

Well, there is I believe a legitimate reason that the bill, which is up to around $60.1 million, is having difficulty getting 100% support, and that is due to the fact that the politicians in Washington are selfish, unethical crooks who really don’t care about helping the affected people in N.Y. and N.J., all they care is about making their constituents and special interest groups happy. (And more than likely lining their own pockets.)

Harsh?  Well not really when you look at what is in this bill.  This bill would fly through the approval process if it had nothing in it other than the assistance needed.  But it’s full of other Crap.  They call it “Pork” in D.C. but the real term is Crap.  They do this all of the time, especially when there is an important bill that really needs to be passed.

Let’s back up a little and I’ll explain what “pork barreling” is in case you don’t know or understand it.  When someone refers to something as pork-barrel spending, it’s meant to be shameful and derogatory. But what makes it so bad? Politicians, in their mission to get re-elected, must try and satisfy the wants of their constituents. At the local level, this can be as simple as opposing a tax increase or building a new bridge. These positions get reported widely in local papers, and the voters can see what their elected officials are doing.

So, instead of petitioning congress for the money for these projects individually, because they likely can’t stand on their own, they cram them into an important bill.  The thinking is that this bill is so important that it has to pass.  So by adding their crap, they are assured it will go through.  And usually it does.  This is common practice on Capitol Hill and it should stop.  I just can’t wrap my head around how these representatives can do this knowing it is a sneaky, backdoor way to get something passes that they know wouldn’t get passed otherwise.  It’s just plain dishonest in my opinion. Well, that’s the short of it.  Pork is crap stuffed in a bill that really shouldn’t be there and usually has absolutely nothing to do with the titled bill.  It’s a great example of how the government is out of control when it comes to spending.  This is like having the tip automatically added to your bill because of the size of your party, just on a gigantic scale.

So back to the Sandy Relief Bill and the pork that is it.  I’m going to list some of the stuff that is in this bill, you decide if it has anything to do with helping the people affected by the storm.

  • $150 million for Alaskan fisheries
  • $2 million to the Smithsonian to repair roofs (the Smithsonian is not in N.Y. or N.J.)
  • $8 million to Homeland Security and the Justice Dept. to buy new cars
  • $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.
  • $41 million for eight military bases (including Guantánamo Bay)
  • $100 million for Head Start day care
  • $188 million for new Amtrak lines
  • A wind energy tax credit the is expected to cost $12.1 billion this year
  • $207 million for the VA Manhattan Medical Center
  • $4 million for repairs at Kennedy Space Center in Florida
  • $3.3 million for the Plum Island Animal Disease Center
  • $1.1 million to repair national cemeteries

WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!! So how does all of that taste?  Oh, and there is no mention in the 100 some pages of legislation, of specific projects: no order to rebuild the sand dunes in Belmar that washed away. No earmark to fix the breached berm in the Meadowlands that flooded Moonachie and Little Ferry. No direct payment for those left homeless.

What if this was common practice with everything we had to pay for?  What if:

  • Your grocery bill had $100 bucks added to it to help pay the store’s electric bill?
  • You bought gas and $50 gets added to help the gas station repaint the building?
  • Your bill at the restaurant has $75 added to it so your neighboring state can plant flowers?

That’s ridiculous isn’t?  You wouldn’t stand for it.  Then why should we stand for all of this pork added to such an important piece of legislation?  For that matter, any legislation?

Thousands of people were affected by Super storm Sandy. Too many died, countless homes were destroyed, and communities wiped out and lives changed forever. But rather than concentrating on providing urgently needed assistance, lawmakers look for ways to capitalize on their tragedy by paying off cronies in their home districts under the pretext of emergency aid.

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