Senator Alexander gave this explanation to BuzzFeed as to why the 2.9Billion was put in the bill to reopen the government last night:
“According to the Army Corps of Engineers, 160 million taxpayer dollars will be wasted because of canceled contracts if this language is not included. Sen. [Diane] Feinstein and I, as chairman and ranking member of the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, requested this provision. It has already been approved this year by the House and Senate.”
I don’t know whether the dam cost is fair, a good idea or bad idea. Here are my questions:
1/ Why was a dam funding earmark put in this government re-opening / debt ceiling bill? does it really belong? or random earmark?
2/ If the earmark for the dam is so crucial, why could it not stand alone – and get passed - in its OWN bill where everyone voting was aware of it? $2.9 billion is not ‘chump change.’
3/ Did any US Senators besides those who were involved in making the agreement, know they were voting on a 2.9 billion dollar provision to fund a dam in Kentucky? was it sneaked in? did the Senators read it?
4/ How much pressure did the Senators (D’s and R’s) get from leadership to ‘hurry up and vote and vote yes?’ They were up against the clock – were they pressured to ‘just say yes?’ Was there time given to the US Senators to actually read the bill to see that 2.9 billion provision?
So my questions are not about whether we need this dam fixed or not — it is about the process and the fairness of it.
What do you think?