DeMint: War Funding Should Not Be Riddled With Pork Spending
May 4th, 2006 - WASHINGTON, D.C - Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint voted against H.R. 4939, The Supplemental Appropriations Act, which passed the U.S. Senate by a vote of 78-20. President Bush requested $92.2 billion in emergency funding for the War on Terror and rebuilding of the Gulf Coast, but the Senate added $18 billion in non-essential, non-emergency spending.
"Today, the Senate showed that it is still not serious about solving the fiscal crisis facing our nation," said Senator DeMint. "This emergency spending should have been focused on supporting our brave troops and the urgent needs of those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Instead, every Democrat and many Republicans proved they care more about pet projects than the future of our children and grandchildren. I urge my colleagues to come to their senses and report a clean bill out of conference that is limited to emergency needs."
As passed, the emergency supplemental spending bill includes $6 million for sugarcane growers in Hawaii, $200 million to replace damaged fishing gear, over $20 million to accelerate Army Corps projects in California, funding for NASA and the rebuilding of private historic residences. It also contains $750 million to relocate a newly built railroad track and $500 million for a Northrop Grumman shipbuilding facility for so-called business interruption expenses that are already covered by the company's insurance.
President Bush issued a threat to veto H.R. 4939 if Congress passes a bill that is above his $92.2 billion request, excluding $2.5 billion to combat Avian Flu.
"The Congress needs to hear me loud and clear: If they spend more than $92.2 billion plus pandemic flu emergency funds, I will veto the bill," said President Bush on Wednesday. "It's important for there to be fiscal discipline in Washington, D.C., if we want to keep this economy strong."
Senator DeMint signed a letter to President Bush with thirty-four other senators saying he would vote to sustain a presidential veto if this supplemental bill spends more than the President's request. Thirty-four votes are needed to sustain a presidential veto.