Follow The Money
Hey folks, wonder what happened to the federal aid you were going to get? Well it seems it passed the US Senate ok with a lot of fighting. Next it goes to the House, but wait there is a kicker in it: Most will not be spent on NYC.
This is supposed to be an "emergency" funding bill. But only about $9 billion of the $60 billion would be spent in the next nine months.
The Congressional Budget Office reports that $38 billion would be spent in fiscal 2015 or beyond. Some emergency.
Only Congress could do something like this. All eyes are on the fiscal-cliff negotiations to trim the $1 trillionplus budget deficit. Running alongside but largely out of public view is a $60.4 billion emergency spending bill to provide relief to the victims of superstorm Sandy. Trouble is the "Sandy" bill is laden with billions of dollars of spending stowaways wholly unrelated to the hurricane. Did anyone really think earmarks would stay buried?
There's $150 million in there for Alaskan fisheries. We knew Sandy made it to the Midwest, but Alaska? Marine projects from New England to Mississippi also made the cut. Also along for the joyride is $8 million for new cars and other equipment for the Justice Department and Homeland Security, $2 million for roof repair at the Smithsonian in Washington, $4 million for the Kennedy Space Center, $3 million for oil-spill research and $348 million for the National Park Service.
Nearly $17 billion is in the bill for the Community Development Fund and social service grants, two longrunning initiatives to fund liberal activists. Amtrak would get $188 million, including funds for two new train tunnels in New York unrelated to Sandy. Amtrak already got $1.4 billion last year.
And of course some $600 million is directed to the Environmental Protection Agency to support climate change adaptation. So much for emergencies in NYC. Guess who controls the Senate?