Paul introduced Amendment 3410, which would force Hurricane Sandy recovery to be paid out one year at a time and offset by cutting spending elsewhere. Paul said that only $9 billion is needed this year for Sandy recovery and that his amendment would pay for that by cutting the foreign aid fund by $9 billion.
Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyPassing US-Canada preclearance would improve security and economy GOP wants to move fast on Sessions Senate Dems pan talk of short-term spending bill MORE (D-Vt.) said Paul’s amendment “represents a myopic misunderstanding of the world we live in.” Sens. Mike LeeMike LeeWill Trump back women’s museum? Overnight Cybersecurity: Lawmakers pushing for vote to delay warrant rule changes Coons to call for voice vote to halt changes to hacking rule MORE (R-Utah), Dean HellerDean HellerGovernments and businesses: Teaming up for taxpayers GOP senator won't rule out 2018 run for Nevada governor A holiday surprise: Will Congress protect privacy? MORE (R-Nev.) and Paul voted for the amendment, which failed on a 3-91 vote.
Paul’s second amendment, 3376, would have suspended the Davis-Bacon Act and allowed competitive wage bidding for contractors hired to help in Hurricane recovery efforts. Currently, federal construction workers are paid a “prevailing wage,” which is determined locally. Paul said that rule resulted in some non-union workers from the South being turned away from recovery work in the Northeast. That amendment failed on a 42-52 vote.
Another GOP amendment failed, which was introduced by Sen. John McCainJohn McCainPentagon should have a civilian chief to give peace a chance McCain to support waiver for Mattis, Trump team says Senators crafting bill to limit deportations under Trump MORE (R-Ariz.). Amendment 3355 would have removed $58 million in the bill for forest restoration in the form of planting trees on private property. McCain said that planting trees didn’t constitute an emergency.
“I love trees, but I’m not asking for any money for private owners in my state to plant trees. I think they can do that themselves,” McCain said on Friday. “It is an example of the kind of excess that has not had a priority around here to spend another $58 million of the taxpayers’ money.”
Several amendments have already passed and a vote on final passage is expected later Friday.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) withdrew his amendment, which he said would have changed the way disaster relief is released, because it required more debate and discussion in committee.