The heated criticism House Speaker John Boehner has received from Northeastern Republicans for delaying a $60 billion bill to aid Superstorm Sandy victims is unjustified, according to a Wall Street Journal editorial
That’s because the bill is full of pork, Journal editors say. They maintain that Boehner did the right thing in allowing a vote as soon as Friday on $9 billion in additional federal flood insurance funds, while putting off consideration of the broader package until about Jan. 15.
“This legislative maneuvering took courage on the Speaker's part,” the editorial states. “There was the predictable outrage from New York and New Jersey Democrats. But the sniping from inside the GOP has been unhinged.”
The real problem is that Democrats from other parts of the country have placed gifts to special interests inside the bill, Journal editors write. That includes $150 million for Alaskan fisheries, $2 million for fixing the Smithsonian’s roof in Washington, D.C., and about $17 billion for community development funds and social service grants that will end up in the hands of liberal activists, the editorial says.
“Far from being must-pass legislation, this is a disgrace to the memory of the victims and could taint legitimate efforts to deal with future disasters.”
The Journal editors rue the fact that “every disaster has become a Washington political opportunity.” The Federal Emergency Management Agency has plenty of money, but it’s “incompetent,” they say.
“Politicians use the public sympathy after any disaster as an excuse to throw even more money not merely at victims, but for pent-up priorities they should be funding out of regular state and local tax dollars.”
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