Okay… FEMA doesn’t need the money until Spring, so a few weeks of legislative delay might not affect the agency’s spending. But according to the news article, there are non-FEMA expenses related to recovery from Sandy. I am not sure of the effect that the delay will have on meeting the non-FEMA expenses.
Another question would be why the delay is taking place. As near as I can tell, it is related to two things. The most important would be the fiscal cliff negotiations. That bill finally passed last night (a rare evening session on New Year’s Day), but Republicans voted against the bill 2-1. They are unhappy because the bill raises taxes on the wealthiest Americans and doesn’t do anything to cut expenses. It could be that asking Republicans to hike federal spending at this point would meet with overwhelming opposition.
The other factor is that Boehner is up for re-election for Speaker of the House in a few days. He can’t afford to stir up even more Republican opposition to his leadership, since Republicans hold the majority of seats in the House.
Here is some information from The Hill
Northeast lawmakers led by Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) had been furiously whipping support for the full $60.4 billion and were increasingly confident that with near-unanimous Democratic support the bill would pass, albeit with more limited Republican support. They are worried that if the Sandy effort drags out it will be overwhelmed in a budget-cutting frenzy sure to take hold when the nation fully reaches its $16.4 billion debt ceiling by March.
Boehner is up for reelection as Speaker on Thursday, and while his authority remains intact after the fiscal-cliff crisis, it is strained. Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) all voted against the fiscal-cliff deal over its lack of spending cuts. Rising star Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) voted with the Speaker in favor of the bill.
I think that assessment is a bit much. However, the timing of a major spending bill in the context of the fiscal cliff battle may have been unsaleable. I think there is a great deal of unhappiness with the bill which was passed last night. Republicans were looking for spending cuts and no tax increases, and that didn’t happen.
I think that is right. The president called for a balanced approach to the deficit and yet forced the House to accept only a tax increase with zero spending cuts. Asking for $60 billion in additional spending at this time just wasn’t likely to be successful.
Taxpayers for Common Sense found the bill spent “$20,000 to buy a new car for the Department of Justice inspector general, allows the government to rebuild or relocate flood-prone state facilities in 30 states, has $821 million for dredging projects nationwide and allows loan cancellations for Hurricane Katrina-related loans” in addition to lowering the bar for the “Army Corps of Engineers projects to receive government funding” while increasing funding for Amtrak.
There’s no constitutional basis for using taxpayer money to benefit people hit by natural disasters, so in that sense it’s good it didn’t pass. It’s also good because it’s not the government’s job to take money from one group of people (in this case future generations since the money would come through new debt) and give it to another even if it was constitutional. Another reason it’s good is that even if the government had constitutional authority to do this and it was their job to do so, they’d be incredibly wasteful in doing it, so private charity/insurance would a better option. Some may disagree with the last statement, but that’s a matter of personal philosophy.
On the other hand it’s amusing people get bent out of shape on Sandy spending but no one will touch any of the other much more expensive government expenditures.
You are right. Rep. King and other congressmen and senators from the affected states aside, the republicans are trying to survive in a country where the majority wants things given to them by the federal government (you know, ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you) and has just re-elected a president and senate that ran on that approach. Unfortunately, basic economics dictate that we can’t keep spending at the rate we are now. Since the senate majority leader and the president both refused to consider ANY spending cuts at this time, the only way to prevent worse damage to the country was for the House to agree to raising taxes on those who have been demonized by the left. Even that is largely symbolic since it won’t do much towards helping solve the problems we have, but it makes a lot of envious people feel good. Spending $60 billion right now is not going to get support from the House.
You can gloat all you want, but gloating is part of why there was no chance to get a relief bill passed before the end of this congress. It is also a big part of the problem this country has.
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
You do understand that the Preamble of the Constitution is merely an introduction. It doesn’t grant any power or authority to anyone. It is simply stating that “We, the People” are establishing this Constitution for the following reasons…" The actual assignment of power is contained in the articles. C’mon, you’re a history guy, you should know this by now.
Agreed. It sets out the goals - not the rules. I serious doubt their goal was a bloated bureaucracy that is totally on responsive to the people and spends trillions more than it takes in. Or is there a secret paragraph?
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