Remember when Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, speaking in 2009 of ObamaCare, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it …”? Here we go again. The Obama Administration, in a time of desperation over the national deficit, is requesting that Congress give a little sum of money for aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy.
And the winning number is … $60.4 billion. That’s enough to pay off a myriad of supporters, by golly. Republicans are contesting the amount. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) retorted:
Who’s analyzed this? Nobody to my knowledge has in a very sophisticated way laid out a plan. And if it does take that much money, I would suggest we’d do better to approve what we know we need right now, and then come back later with more documented requests for more money …I’ve been on the Gulf Coast and I’ve seen a lot of money, and I’ve seen a lot of waste, too.
There’s little documentation from the Administration that shows why so much money is needed. That sounds familiar.
One aide in the House said, “It wasn’t an official bill request … it didn’t have the justifying documents. They said they did not have time to complete the justification … why don’t we wait a few months so they can do that?”
But here’s a partial list of recipients of the taxpayers’ largesse:
Museum roofs in Washington, D.C.: $4 million
Head Start Centers: $100 million
National Park damage (partially for Liberty Island): $348 million
National Flood Insurance Program: $9.7 billion
Emergency and non-emergency transportation funding: $11.5 billion
You gotta love this one, the biggest one of all: as a former community organizer, Obama has earmarked $15 billion for Community Development Block Grants, which the Government Accountability Office has marked for lack of oversight.
While Chuck Schumer protested the Republican idea that the money spent should be offset by cuts in the budget, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl cracked the whip this way:
At $60 billion? In this time when we’re trying to solve the deficit problem? Can I verbalize that stinky look on my face? I can’t predict what my colleagues will do. But that’s an awful big bite to swallow when the amount of money that’s set aside for this is about $5 billion and they’re asking for $60 billion. That’s too much.
Well, what the hell, Democrats don’t count when they’re spending, Senator.