Right Now

Dec 18 2012

Dr. Coburn Submits Amendments to the Sandy Supplemental Bill

Provisions would enhance transparency, ensure quick and efficient assistance


#3368 failed 44-51

#3369 agreed to by a voice vote

#3370 division 1 agreed to by voice vote (tax cheats, deceased)

#3370 division 2 failed 35-60 (fisheries)

#3371 failed 40-55

#3382 failed 48-47

#3383 withdrawn. 

Dr. Coburn filed the following amendments to H.R. 1, the Sandy Supplemental Appropriations Bill.

Emergency funds meant to address immediate needs should be paid for and provided swiftly to ensure victims are assisted quickly and efficiently.  However, as the region begins to rebuild and the true cost of long-term restoration projects becomes more clear, Congress should take a thoughtful approach in determining future federal commitments for long-term projects not in need of immediate emergency funding. 

Coburn amendment #3368 — This amendment would require a 65 percent cost-share for Army Corps of Engineer mitigation projects.

In the Army of Corps of Engineers construction account the Senate bill provides $3.5 billion in funding. Nearly $3 billion from this account is directed toward reducing flood risk and flood costs in areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The legislation also increases the federal cost share for projects funded with this appropriation to 90 percent. This amendment would require a 65 percent (federal) and 35 percent (non-federal) cost share, which is the ratio used in current law.

More information available here.

Coburn amendment #3369 — This amendment would modify the current reporting requirement so the information is posted on a public website so all Americans and Members of Congress can be involved in holding the federal government accountable.

This amendment also changes the amount of money that triggers the requirement to notify Congress of the recipients of certain grants from $1,000,000 to $500,000. This is an important step in ensuring that every tax dollar is spent wisely and in a way free from undue influence.

More information available here.

Coburn amendment #3370 — This amendment would ensure funding for victims of Hurricane Sandy is not provided to deceased individuals, tax cheats, or fisheries outside the affected area.

This amendment would prohibit emergency Sandy appropriations from being spent on the following: entities and individuals with seriously delinquent tax debt, deceased individuals, and fisheries outside the affected area. With thousands in need of federal assistance for basic needs like housing and billions of dollars in damage to critical infrastructure, it is Congress’s moral obligation to ensure emergency Sandy funding is not wasted.

More information available here.

Coburn amendment #3371 — This amendment would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to update the per-capita damage indicator and process for determining declarations.

This would require the FEMA administrator to 1) Initiate a rulemaking process to update the per-capita damage indicator for inflation for all years since it was created in 1986 by January 1, 2016; and 2) Within one year, present to Congress a plan for FEMA to improve its system for assessing disasters (to create a fairer process and to require disaster aid be focused on major storms).

More information available here.

Coburn amendment #3382 - This amendment would require merit-based and competitive awards of disaster recovery contracts.  It would require the use of competition for all federal contracts awarded after the date of enactment of this act for disaster assistance.  It would also require federal agencies to review and re-compete no bid contacts that had been awarded prior to the enactment of this act.   

Additional information available here.

Coburn amendment #3383 – This amendment would strike a provision that gives the Army Corps of Engineers complete authority to choose which flood and storm risk mitigations are authorized without the necessary Congressional deliberation and oversight.  This would ensure mitigation projects go through the typical authorization process.  Without this amendment, the Corps will have the complete authority to be the judge, jury, and practitioner of how funds are spent, without Congressional review.     

Additional information available here.