Guam – GOP Representative Tom McClintock is charging that an amendment in the House passed Hurricane Sandy relief bill provides, among other millions, $20 million dollars in highway funding to Guam.
The amendment was introduced by New Jersey Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen. In all Frelinghuysen’s amendment provides $33.677 billion in relief funding.
The funding in Frelinghuysen’s amendment is in addition to the substitute amendment submitted by Congressman Hal Rogers of Kentucky which provides $17 billion in emergency funding.
That makes a total of over $50-billion dollars in “relief” funding incldued in H.R. 152, the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act which was passed Tuesday in Washington by a vote of 241 to 180.
Guam Congresswoman Bordallo’s Assistant Press Secretary Breanna G. Lai confirms that the Frelinghuysen amendment “was included in the final bill.” She could not comment specifically on the $20 million for Guam and the Congresswoman was not avialable for comment as of this posting.
On Fox News, ahead of the House vote, McClintock called the amendment pork and cited the $20 million for Guam as an example.
Congressman McClintock made the same argument from the House floor.
It is far from certian that the $20-million in highway funding for Guam will survive when the Sandy relief bill is taken up by the U.S. Senate.
READ the Section of the Frelinghuysen Amendment referring to Guam below:
1 FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION
2 FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAYS
3 EMERGENCY RELIEF PROGRAM
4 For an additional amount for the ‘‘Emergency Relief
5 Program’’ as authorized under section 125 of title 23,
6 United States Code, $2,022,000,000, to remain available
7 until expended: Provided, That the obligations for projects
8 under this section resulting from a single natural disaster
9 or a single catastrophic failure in a State shall not exceed
10 $100,000,000, and the total obligations for projects under
11 this section in any fiscal year in the Virgin Islands, Guam,
12 American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern
13 Mariana Islands shall not exceed $20,000,000
READ Congressman McClintock remarks from the floor of the House below:
Rule on Hurricane Sandy
January 15, 2013 5:56 PM
Rule on Hurricane Sandy
House Chamber, Washington D.C.
January 15, 2013
This rule brings us a spending package of more than $50 billion that is supposed to be for emergency repairs in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
That averages $450 from every household in America. $450.
These families have a right to expect that this money is being used for genuine emergency relief. But it’s not.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, more than 90 percent won’t even be spent this year. That’s not emergency relief.
Sixteen billion is to quintuple the size of the Community Development Block Grant Program. That’s the slush fund that pays for such dubious projects as doggie day care centers – and it doesn’t even have to be spent in the hurricane area.
Two billion is for highway repairs anywhere in the country – including up to $20 million each for Guam, American Somoa and the Mariana Islands that aren’t even in the same ocean as Hurricane Sandy.
I offered amendments to restrict funding to emergency relief for this year. Future year expenditures should be included in the normal appropriations process where they can be given scrutiny and evaluated in relation to all the other demands on spending.
These amendments were refused. Worse, this rule overrides the house rules requiring spending offsets, against unauthorized appropriations, and most telling of all — against mixing non-emergency funding in an emergency bill.
A tragedy like Hurricane Sandy should not be used as an excuse for a grab-bag of spending having nothing to do with emergency relief.
At the Rules Committee hearing, I was told, “Well, you just have to understand that’s the way these things are done.”
Mr. Speaker, Republicans were supposed to change the way these things are done. Clearly, we have not.