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Issa Opposes Unrelated Spending Tucked Inside Emergency Hurricane Aid Package

Press Release
Jan 16, 2013

WASHINGTON. D.C. – Representative Darrell Issa (CA-49) today voted against a $33 billion amendment containing spending unrelated to emergency assistance and areas hit by Hurricane Sandy.  Issa had earlier voted to support $17 billion in needed and targeted emergency assistance.

“I’m disappointed that needed emergency assistance legislation was hijacked and loaded up with spending that is unrelated to Hurricane Sandy’s devastation and the immediate needs of victims and communities,” said Issa.  “Despite efforts to trim unrelated expenditures that should have faced greater scrutiny, the House of Representatives did not give the American people a substantially better and cleaner bill.”

Rep. Issa, on January 6, 2013, voted in favor of H.R. 41, which contained $9.7 billion in emergency assistance to help the National Flood Insurance Program pay claims to victims of Hurricane Sandy.  In debate, he noted that emergency supplementals should, “only be about the emergency.”

Today, Rep. Issa voted in favor of the Rogers Amendment that provides $17 billion in additional emergency funding to address the immediate needs of victims and communities affected by Hurricane Sandy.  He opposed another amendment adding $33 billion of additional funding that included:

  • Transportation funding included in the bill (highway, train, etc) is not limited to areas affected by Sandy
  • Provisions make Guam eligible for funding (it is closer to Tokyo than anywhere affected by Hurricane Sandy)
  • NOAA gets funding for improvements to weather forecasting equipment, satellite systems, and other projects that were not damaged by Sandy but would nonetheless receive “upgrades”
  • $16 billion of Community Development Funds that would be available to any community or state that was declared a federal disaster area in 2011, 2012 and 2013. (Hurricane Sandy occurred AFTER 2011 and more states than those affected would be eligible)
  • $2 million for Smithsonian roof repairs
  • Includes $3.46 billion in Army Corps of Engineers spending designated by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) as non-emergency
  • According to CBO, 80 percent of spending outlays occur in FY15 and beyond – this means only 20% of “emergency” funding would be spent in the next 2 years.

The House of Representatives voted 241 to 180 to approve H.R. 152.  Citing the $33 billion added to the bill, Rep. Issa voted against final passage.

 

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