U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) made the following statement on the Disaster Relief Act of 2013:
Hurricane Sandy inflicted devastating damage on the East Coast, and Congress appropriately responded with hurricane relief. Unfortunately, cynical politicians in Washington could not resist loading up this relief bill with billions in new spending utterly unrelated to Sandy.
Emergency relief for the families who are suffering from this natural disaster should not be used as a Christmas tree for billions in unrelated spending, including projects such as Smithsonian repairs, upgrades to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration airplanes, and more funding for Head Start.
Two thirds of this spending is not remotely "emergency"; the Congressional Budget Office estimates that only 30% of the authorized funds would be spent in the next 20 months, and over a billion dollars will be spent as late as 2021.
This bill is symptomatic of a larger problem in Washington -- an addiction to spending money we do not have. The United States Senate should not be in the business of exploiting victims of natural disasters to fund pork projects that further expand our debt.