Congress Still Working On $1M For BCVFD
When Congressman Anthony Weiner came to Russo’s On the Bay on March 10 to bring the good news to the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department, he pointed out that the Omnibus Transportation Bill passed that day by the House of Representatives included a line-item budget for $1 million to allow the department to complete its planned new firehouse on Cross Bay Boulevard.
The crowd cheered, but Weiner pointed out that the money was far from being in-pocket, that a bill that included the money still had to be passed by the Senate and then signed by President George W. Bush.
This week, the second shoe dropped.
The Senate, by a vote of 89-11, passed the transportation reauthorization bill that includes $16.72 billion for New York over the next seven years.
Is the Broad Channel money in the Senate version of the bill?
That depends on how you define the word “in.”
“The Senate does not work like the House of Representatives in this regard,” Nina Blackwell, a spokesperson for Senator Hillary Clinton told The Wave on Wednesday. “All of the individual items [such as the money for Broad Channel] are worked out as amendments in Conference Committee. Senator Clinton knows that [an amendment for the Broad Channel money] is in there and she will support it in conference.”
The Conference Committee includes members of both the Senate and the House of Representatives and is traditionally called together to resolve differences between the two houses of Congress. President Bush, however, has said publicly that both the House and the Senate bills are too expensive in a time of war and high debt and that it is possible his veto of the bill would become the first of his presidency.