This afternoon, two days after Gov. Chris Christie (D-NJ) threw a temper tantrum about the House of Representatives not approving a pork-filled $60 billion aid bill, Congress approved a pared-down aid bill for Hurricane Sandy victims. The new bill clocked in at $9.7 billion; it was quickly approved by both the Senate and the House.
That’s not the end of the matter, though. On January 15, the Congress will consider the other $51 billion in aid – the pork-filled section. But don’t expect Congress to maintain its stance against pork. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) claims there is no pork in the bill at all – even though the original bill contained $100 million for Head Start, $150 million for fisheries, and myriad other earmarks.
Even this $9.7 billion bill is a porktacular. It gets the federal government involved in the business of reimbursing state flood insurance – precisely the sort of system that led to the real estate collapse, when the feds became the backstop for local mortgages.
Once again, emotion trumps rationality in legislation. If Republicans keep caving, they may have no principles to adhere to.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News, and author of the upcoming book “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).