GOP Rep. Wants To Slash Flood Preparedness Funding In Hurricane Sandy Aid Package

Georgia Rep. Paul Broun (R) has proposed amendments cutting $300 million from the $17 billion House relief package for states affected by Hurricane Sandy. Among those cuts are nearly $20 million meant for studying future flood risks.

Such studies would lead to investments that would help reduce the risks of major flooding and to better infrastructure projects. But Broun, a stalwart conservative, believes that represents wasteful spending, The Hill reports:

Two of Broun’s amendments would affect the main bill, by removing $19.5 million to study future flood risks and removing $3 million for oil spill research.

Hurricane Sandy left large swaths of New York and New Jersey underwater. The Senate’s aid package included a total of $5.3 billion for future flood prevention, and experts have begun exploring various ways to protect New York City and New Jersey from the possibility of major flooding in the future. As the Sacramento Bee editorialized, “by failing to finance flood control projects and programs to protect communities against other natural disasters, Congress is adding to the potential liabilities of the federal government.”

House Republicans initially decided not to take up the Sandy relief package before passing a smaller bill as the last Congress ended. Some Republicans have renewed their calls that the relief funding be offset by spending cuts elsewhere, including cuts to every discretionary spending program in the federal budget.