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 LeahyVA leaving navy veterans adrift in sea of Agent Orange Senate confirms first nominees of Trump era Senate gears up for battle over Trump's CIA pick MORE (D-Vt.) said Paul’s amendment “represents a myopic misunderstanding of the world we live in.” Sens. Mike LeeMike LeeOvernight Finance: Trump takes US out of Pacific trade deal | WH says Trump has left his businesses | Lobbyists expect boom times GOP senator floats eliminating the corporate income tax Booker is taking orders from corporate pharmaceuticals MORE (R-Utah), Dean HellerDean HellerMnuchin weathers stormy confirmation hearing Live coverage: Senators grill Trump's Treasury pick Five things to watch for in Mnuchin hearing 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 McCainSenate panel votes to confirm Tillerson Overnight Defense: Trump nominates Air Force secretary | Senate clears CIA director | Details on first drone strike under Trump McCain: Trump's withdrawal from TPP a 'serious mistake' 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.