On top of handing President Obama a blank check that will explode the size of our deficit, the blank check itself (the bill that re-opened the government and increased the debt ceiling), contains billions in additional spending. Most people have already heard about the $2.9 billion Kentucky kickback and a $174,000 payment to the wealthy widow of Senator Frank Lautenberg. Fox News found another billion-plus:
The bill also put up another $600 million for firefighters in the Forest Service, who have been dealing with a rash of major blazes this year. Another $36 million was appropriated for Interior Department firefighting.
On a related note, the bill authorized $450 million to be spent, via the Federal Highway Administration, on road repairs and other projects in Colorado — to rebuild after destructive flooding in that state.
All of this spending might be justifiable. But to sneak it into a bill no one was going to vote against, looks terrible. If this spending can win passage in the light of day on the merits, then pass it on the merits.
It is stunts like this that drive congressional approval ratings down to 10%.
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