New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: “Unrelated Spending in Sandy Relief Package Shows Washington at it’s Worst”

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Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee member Joseph Pennacchio (R- Morris) today blasted the Obama Administration and the Democrat- led U.S. Senate for inserting billions in unrelated spending projects into the federal aid legislation for states impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

“It is no wonder our nation has a $16 trillion debt when even hurricane relief gets larded up with unrelated pork barrel spending,” said Pennacchio. “New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut desperately need federal assistance to rebuild from the devastation wrought by this storm. That aid shouldn’t be used as a vehicle to appropriate funding for other projects that wouldn’t otherwise withstand scrutiny and, more importantly, that aid should not be jeopardized by billions of dollars in unrelated add ons that are anathema to the House of Representatives.”

Legislation currently being debated in the U.S. Senate to appropriate disaster relief for states impacted by Sandy has been revealed to include billions of dollars in funding for projects and programs unrelated to the storm. Extraneous spending items include replacement of federally owned vehicles, funding for commercial fisheries, and repairs to the Smithsonian museums. A full 5% of the appropriation request is earmarked for the replacement of federal assets, rather than rebuilding and aid efforts in the tri-state area.

I call on New Jersey’s U.S. Senators to do whatever it takes to cut the pork out of this bill and pass a clean aid package,” the Senator continued. “This is not the time nor the issue with which to play politics as usual in Washington.”

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