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Foxx: Non-Emergency Spending Dominates Sandy Relief Package

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Representative Virginia Foxx issued the following statement after voting Tuesday against H.R. 152:

"If Washington is going to charge more than $60 billion dollars of 'emergency spending' to the taxpayer credit card, every dollar should be used to help emergency victims. The spending in H.R. 152 doesn't come close to meeting that requirement and so I could not support it.

"Emergencies require us to come together as a country to help our neighbors in need and ensure that taxpayer-funded assistance gets to victims quickly and efficiently. Emergencies should not be used as cover for profligate Washington spending or to dodge the scrutiny of an open budget process. I fear, however, both are the case with this legislation.

"H.R. 152 is weighed down by spending entirely unrelated to Hurricane Sandy. Despite its "emergency' classification, just seven percent of H.R. 152's total cost will go toward helping victims in the near future, and not a cent of its cost is offset. In a debt crisis of $16.4 trillion proportion, the failure to budget for such an expense must be questioned."

Among the non-emergency spending included in H.R. 152 are the following:

$16 billion for Community Development Funds that would be made available to any community or state declared to be a federal disaster area in 2011, 2012 and 2013 (Hurricane Sandy occurred AFTER 2011, so states not affected by Sandy would be eligible for this taxpayer money);
$2 million for repairs to Smithsonian roofs in Washington, D.C.;
$3.46 billion for non-emergency Army Corps of Engineers spending, as classified by the Congressional Budget Office;
Transportation funding (including highway repairs in the Virgin Islands) not limited to areas affected by Hurricane Sandy; and
Provisions making Guam eligible for funding (Guam is 8,000 miles away from New York).
Monday, Foxx voted to support the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act (H.R. 219), bipartisan legislation that corrects inefficiencies in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) programs in order to speed up the delivery of assistance to victims and reduce the overall cost of recovery to taxpayers.

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