Congressman John Fleming, M.D. (LA-4) released the following statement after the House of Representatives, by a vote of 216-205, passed his amendment to cut $9.8 million for repair projects on uninhabited islands off the coast of Connecticut:
"Today the House took a small step in the direction of common sense. My amendment will cut a slice of non-emergency pork from the Sandy Bill, by stopping the Fish and Wildlife service from spending nearly $10 million for repair projects and beach restoration on uninhabited islands. The general public has no access to these islands without the permission of a school in Connecticut that uses them for university conservation classes. There is no emergency facing these islands and the $10 million that would have been spent on them would add to our national debt while providing no relief for victims of Sandy.
"I also voted for an amendment today that would have paid for both the emergency and non-emergency spending in this bill, instead of merely adding it all to our national debt. Sadly, that amendment failed. The total Sandy bill, which included billions of dollars in pork and deficit spending, passed the House by a vote of 241 to 180. I am disappointed that once again Speaker Boehner used an overwhelming Democrat majority to pass a spending bill that was opposed by 179 Republicans. We're allowing reckless spending to continue with Democrat votes, on our watch.
"My $10 million cut is a start, but it is not enough to change the unsustainable spending curve we are currently on. I want my Republican conference to do more. Today we missed an big opportunity to do that, despite my successful amendment."
Dr. John Fleming is Chairman of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs and is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He is a physician and small business owner and represents the 4th Congressional District of Louisiana.