WASHINGTON--()--Today, Tom Schatz, President of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, issued a letter urging members of the United States House of Representatives to oppose Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s (R-N.J.) amendment to H.R. 152, the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act. CCAGW has been actively tracking Congress’s efforts to provide disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and while the bill before the House is a dramatic improvement over the alarmingly wasteful version approved by the Senate in December of 2012, the Frelinghuysen amendment should be rejected. Schatz’s letter reads in part:
“The core [of H.R. 152] provides $17 billion in immediate disaster relief for those affected by the storm, but an amendment proposed by Rep. Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) would increase this funding by $33.7 billion, with some of the money directed to projects outside of the disaster zone. …”
“The core [of H.R. 152] provides $17 billion in immediate disaster relief for those affected by the storm, but an amendment proposed by Rep. Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) would increase this funding by $33.7 billion, with some of the money directed to projects outside of the disaster zone. …
“Among the extraneous projects funded in Rep. Frelinghuysen’s amendment are $188 million for an Amtrak extension project with no clear link to Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, $135 million to help the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration improve weather forecasting, and $50 million in tree planting-subsidies. Whether or not these unrelated spending initiatives are worthwhile, they should be subjected to the normal budget process, not included as part of a disaster relief bill that is being hurried through Congress.
“Instead of trying once again to overload a disaster bill with unrelated spending, Congress should focus on quickly delivering disaster relief to those individuals most in need. All votes on H.R. 152 will be among those considered in CCAGW’s 2012 Congressional Ratings.”
The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.