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Coats Statement on Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.), ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, issued the following statement on the Hurricane Sandy disaster relief funding legislation:

“One of the core responsibilities of the federal government is to deliver assistance in the wake of a disaster,” said Coats. “I fully support providing immediate need to the families impacted by Hurricane Sandy, but I believe Congress can do so without loading up legislation with unrelated, costly projects.

“Emergency disaster funding should meet the emergency needs of the victims,” added Coats. “Unfortunately, this bill goes far beyond assisting the current needs of those affected by Sandy and includes tens of billions of dollars in spending for future disasters and other unrelated items. This is yet another example of what is wrong with Congress and how Washington continues to add to our national debt without taking the proper steps to control spending.”

Only 30 percent of the $50.5 billion “emergency” spending bill would be spent over the next 20 months. The massive spending package contained a number of extraneous items completely separate from the Hurricane Sandy recovery, including funding for future disasters, upgrading the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration airplanes and several other unsubstantiated projects.

In December, Coats offered an alternative $23.8 billion proposal focused on delivering immediate relief to the victims of Hurricane Sandy, allowing time for Congress to examine additional requests to meet future needs. Click here for more information on Coats’ proposal.

Senator Coats spoke on the Senate floor today on the Hurricane Sandy disaster aid bill. Click here to view Coats’ remarks.