The House has recently voted to gut programs for the poor, disabled, and elderly in order to pay for hurricane relief. It appears that the cruelty of sticking it to the disadvantaged to help the disadvantaged is lost on them. One Senator tried to pay bills without hurting the poor. He wanted to cut frivolous projects from the budget and use that money for Louisiana, Mississippi, and other states that are being pounded by hurricanes.
Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, proposed legislation that would cut pork barrel projects to pay for the mounting hurricane bills. This included dumping such projects as the bridge to an Alaskan Island where 50 people live. The project carried a $200 million price tag. Several other projects would have been axed. The money would have helped those who really need it.
Selfishness won out in the end. Only 15 Senator voted yes on the amendment. The others clearly were too worried about winning votes than doing what is right in a time of need. I think most Americans wouldn’t mind giving up pet projects if it meant rebuilding areas that desparately need it. Balancing relief efforts on the backs of the middle class and poor just isn’t right.
Tom Coburn should be applauded for trying to raise the bar and make sure that every pitches in for Gulf Coast Recovery. All 15 Senators deserve thank you cards for putting aside politics for a day. A national emergency should take precedence over special interest groups. Here are the names of the Senators. Let them know that you appreciate their actions even if the amendment failed in the end.