Coburn Expresses Concern about Pork Projects in Emergency Supplemental Bill
Supplemental may include $700 million to destroy and relocate recently-repaired rail line
U.S. Senators Tom Coburn, M.D (R-OK) today urged his colleagues to resist the temptation to attach extraneous pork projects and other non-emergency items to the must-pass Hurricane Katrina and Iraq supplemental spending bill. Coburn specifically encouraged his colleagues to not attempt to use the supplemental as a vehicle to dismantle and relocate the CSX Gulf Coast line to clear the way for a new scenic road and other waterfront development projects.
"It is ludicrous for the Senate to spend $700 million to destroy and relocate a rail line that is in perfect working order, particularly when it recently underwent a $250 million repair. American taxpayers are generous and are happy to restore damaged property. But it is wrong for Senators to turn this tragedy into a giveaway for economic developers," Dr. Coburn said.
"Emergency supplemental bills are designed to help our nation confront emergencies. While the current location of this rail line may be displeasing to local economic developers and politicians, it is hardly a national emergency," Dr. Coburn said.
"The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina continues to be a nightmare for displaced persons in the Gulf Coast region. Tons of debris still has not been removed, and thousands of people are still in temporary housing. I hope the Senate uses common sense and puts true emergency needs ahead of the special interest requests of developers. The citizens of the Gulf Coast and taxpayers across America expect nothing less," Dr. Coburn said.