CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 4939, EMERGENCY SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT FOR DEFENSE, THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR, AND HURRICANE RECOVERY, 2006
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the Conference Report of the ``Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery, 2006.'' This is the largest supplemental spending bill in the history of the United States--and all of this spending is off the books. All supplemental bills by definition are deemed ``off-budget'' and thus the dollars spent are not counted by the General Accounting Office when compiling annual deficit figures, nor are they included in annual budget figures. They thus obscure the true levels of spending and debt, and much of the ``emergency'' spending is not at all in response to any emergency.
When this bill was first before the House, I offered an amendment to redirect to Texas for Hurricane Rita recovery some $546 million from such non-emergency ``emergency'' items funded in this bill as the State Department ``Democracy Fund,'' aid to foreign military forces, international broadcasting funds, and others. This spending was not in any way a response to legitimate emergencies and therefore I believed it would be better spent helping the Texas victims of Hurricane Rita. I also redirected some of this nonemergency spending to go toward our crippling deficit. Unfortunately this amendment was not allowed. Thus, recovery from true emergencies that have caused terrible destruction to the lives and property of American citizens is woefully underfunded while pork-barrel projects and wasteful foreign aid are funded most generously.
Mr. Speaker, our priorities in this are really backward. We need to look seriously at this incredible--unimaginable--level of spending. We are driving this country toward bankruptcy and it is bills like this that put us in the fast lane.