Republicans are wasting no time in another attempt at gutting the next round of relief spending for victims of Hurricane Sandy.
The debacle over funding for victims of Hurricane Sandy is far from over. Although the House passed an initial round of aid for victims of the storm, they are set to vote again this week on a more comprehensive aid package. The $50 billion dollar bill will be divided into two sections; the first designates $17 billion for urgent disaster relief needs; the second is a $33 billion amendment that covers long-term relief projects.
You might think Republicans would want to avoid the firestorm that was the last vote, when 67 members of the GOP voted against the bill. Northeastern Republicans like Congressman Peter King and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had no qualms about singling out members of their own party for playing politics at the expense of victims in desperate need of services.
In addition to building repair and relief services for victims, this week’s bill sets aside funding for studies on flood-prevention and oil-spill research. You might expect this forward-looking and research-based portion of the bill to have the support of scientifically-inclined members of the House. As it turns out, one prominent member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is doing the exact opposite. Georgia Congressman Paul Broun is proposing several amendments to the bill, two of which would cut funding for research projects on oil-spills and flood prevention.
Broun, a Republican who is not on the side of the vast majority of scientists when it comes to the issue of climate change, is also in favor of eliminating funds to help improve weather-forecasting data.
This is just a fragment of the funding that Broun and some of his Republicans colleagues hope to slash before the bill passes. In total, the group has proposed amendments that would cut $300 million from the bill.
Congressman Broun already has a checkered history with the science community, particularly in regards to his recent comments on the age of Earth.
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