EMERGENCY SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT FOR DEFENSE, THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR, AND TSUNAMI RELIEF, 2005 -- (House of Representatives - March 16, 2005)
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Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this $82 billion "emergency" supplemental bill. I also am opposed to the manner in which the REAL ID Act, H.R. 418, was attached to the Rule, thereby stealthily making the establishment of a national ID part of an "emergency" bill to which it is completely unrelated. Once again we see controversial bills being hidden inside another bill so that they are automatically passed where they otherwise might face opposition. I do not believe this is a wise practice.
This "emergency" supplemental is the second largest supplemental appropriations bill in United States history, second only to the one last year. The funds will be considered "emergency" funds so Congress can ignore spending caps that would require the billions in new spending to be offset by reducing spending elsewhere.
We are told that this is emergency spending, and that we therefore must not question this enormous expenditure. Does an emergency require sending billions of American taxpayers' dollars overseas as foreign aid an emergency? This bill is filled with foreign aid spending. If we pass this ill-conceived legislation, we will spend $656 million for tsunami relief; $94 million for Darfur, Sudan; $150 million for food aid, most to Liberia and Sudan; $580 million for "peacekeeping" overseas; $582 million to build a new American embassy in Iraq; $76 million to build a new airport in Kuwait (one of the wealthiest countries on earth); $257 million for counter drug efforts in Afghanistan; $372 million for health, reconstruction, and alternative development programs to help farmers stop raising poppy; $200 million in economic aid for the Palestinians; $150 million for Pakistan (run by an unelected dictator); $200 million for Jordan; $34 million for Ukraine.
Does anyone really believe that all this foreign aid is "emergency" spending? Or is it just an opportunity for some off-budget spending? Just the above foreign aid equals almost $3.5 billion. Does anyone believe that sending this much money abroad as international welfare is a good thing for our economy?
Is there a baseball emergency? There must be, because this "emergency" supplemental contains a provision to allow Washington, D.C. to use taxpayer money to build a baseball stadium.
Mr. Chairman, this bill is almost unimaginably expensive. It is our out-of-control spending that really is the greatest threat to the United States and our way of life. I urge my colleagues to reject this legislation.
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