Press Room

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) today released the following statement on the $60.4 billion Hurricane Sandy supplemental spending bill before Congress this week:

“As Congress considers the $60.4 billion Hurricane Sandy supplemental spending bill this week, it is critical that we ensure taxpayer dollars go to help those impacted by this devastating storm and not to wasteful spending projects. We have already identified many issues that need to be addressed in this legislation.

“This is a preliminary list of questionable spending in the bill:

•$2 million to repair damage to the roofs of museums in Washington, D.C., while many in Hurricane Sandy’s path still have no roof over their own heads.

•$150 million for fisheries as far away from the storm’s path as Alaska.

•$125 million for the Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Watershed Protection program, which helps restore watersheds damaged by wildfires and drought.

•$20 million for a nationwide Water Resources Priorities Study.

•$15 million for NASA facilities, though NASA itself has called its damage from the hurricane ‘minimal.’

•$50 million in subsidies for tree planting on private properties.

•$336 million for taxpayer-supported AMTRAK without any detailed plan for how the money will be spent.

•$5.3 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers – more than the Corps’ annual budget – with no statement of priorities about how to spend the money.

•$12.9 billion for future disaster mitigation activities and studies, without identifying a single way to pay for it.

“All told, 64 percent of the $60.4 billion in ‘emergency’ spending in this legislation will not be spent for nearly two years.

“Americans impacted by Hurricane Sandy deserve better than this. We look forward to working with our colleagues to address these issues on the floor of the Senate this week.”