The U.S. House returns Tuesday to consider the latest installment of Hurricane Sandy disaster aid. The $17 billion base bill (H.R. 152) could grow by an extra $33 billion of pork-laden spending — without offsets. Heritage’s Patrick Louis Knudsen outlined what’s at stake with the spending package this morning.
The Senate’s version of the bill included notorious pork projects such as $100 million for Head Start, $150 million for fisheries in Alaska, $2 million to fix a Smithsonian roof, and $28 billion for future disaster-mitigation projects, among other things.
While the House has done away with some of the most egregious items in its $17 billion package, lawmakers could add to the total with the $33 billion amendment.
Heritage’s Knudsen called it an “excellent opportunity” to show fiscal discipline:
This is the kind of spending that helps unravel coherent budgeting and contributes to chronic, trillion-dollar deficits. It also lures states and localities into greater dependence on federal funds, further undermining the principle of federalism. It does not by any stretch meet the test of “emergency” or “disaster” spending, and should be dropped.