It’s been 66 days since Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast, causing major damage in New York and New Jersey. The storm was so powerful, it is in the running to become the most expensive storm for taxpayers on record. Historically, Congress has passed hurricane relief bills in the immediate aftermath of storm damage, but Sandy is a different story. Why? Congress wrote up Hurricane Sandy Relief legislation and then Harry Reid’s Senate loaded it with pork. What’s in it? Many things that hardly count as relief for victims.
The pork-barrel feast includes more than $8 million to buy cars and equipment for the Homeland Security and Justice departments. It also includes a whopping $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.
An eye-popping $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.
Budget watchdogs have dubbed the 94-page emergency-spending bill “Sandy Scam.”