Key Vote “NO” on the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Bill

Dear FreedomWorks member,

As one of our millions of FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to contact your Members of Congress and urge them to vote against the Hurricane Sandy disaster relief amendment that is being debated as a substitute for H.R. 1.

Emergency disaster relief funding ought to be tied to relieving immediate structural and humanitarian distress. Yet, the greater portion of the current proposal’s money is either going towards future projects that are certainly not “emergency” in nature, or even towards projects not related to the hurricane damage at all.  A sampling:

  • $58.8 million for forest restoration on private land.
  • $197 million “to… protect coastal ecosystems and habitat impacted by Hurricane Sandy.”
  • $150 million for “fishery disasters”, including fisheries in Alaska and the Gulf region.
  • $10.78 billion for public transportation, most of which is allocated to future construction and improvements, not disaster relief.
  • $17 billion for wasteful Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), a program that has become notorious for its use as a backdoor earmark program.

This is only a fraction of the dubious spending proposed in the bill, which reads more like another federal stimulus program than a disaster relief bill.

Perhaps worse, out of the $60.4 billion in requested funding, about $55 billion is emergency spending above the spending levels authorized by the Budget Control Act.  Even if every penny of this huge sum were warranted, we should still find a way to pay for the disaster relief out of our existing $3 trillion-plus budget rather than adding further billions to our enormous deficit.

I urge you to call your Members of Congress and ask them to vote NO on the amendment to H.R. 1 or any disaster relief measure that funds pork programs and increases the deficit. We may count any such vote as a KEY VOTE when calculating the FreedomWorks Economic Freedom Scorecard for 2012. The Economic Freedom Scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes members of Congress with voting records that support economic freedom.


Matt Kibbe
President and CEO, FreedomWorks