Keeping Emergency Responses Responsible

The practice of loading up emergency appropriations bills with pork and other non-emergency items has become all too common in Congress.  That's why I have introduced the Responsible Emergency Appropriation Limits (REAL) Supplemental Act.  My bill mandates that a supplemental can only provide for a single emergency, contain only emergency spending, and must be free of earmarks.

This past spring, Congress took up two emergency appropriations bill.  The first was to fund the War on Terror.  The second was to help Gulf Coast Recovery efforts.  Not only were these two bills lumped together, but additional, unrelated spending was added.  While member and senator projects in states like Hawaii, California and Illinois may be worthwhile, they had nothing to do with winning the War on Terror or helping the people along the Gulf Coast get back on their feet.

There are times when emergencies or other unforeseen events take place. And often Congress has a responsibility to respond quickly.  But when it does, Congress should do so while spending taxpayer dollars responsibly. Considering each emergency bill on its own merits and keeping earmarks far away from the bill will help us reach these goals.

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