The legislation to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy has been turned into something of a mini auto bailout, according to those familiar with the Obama administration's request. The request includes millions of dollars worth of cars, to be paid for by the federal government.
Obama's request, as detailed in a letter sent to Capitol Hill by the director of the White House's Office of Management and Budget, Jeffrey Zients, includes these requests:
— “This request would provide $4 million to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to replace vehicles, laboratory and office equipment, and furniture damaged as a result of Hurricane Sandy.”
— “This request would provide $2.4 million in response to Hurricane Sandy to replace destroyed or damaged vehicles, including mobile x-ray machines at ports of entry in New York and New Jersey, and other equipment.”
— “This request would provide $1 million to the Drug Enforcement Administration, which would be used to repair or replace over 15 vehicles, information technology equipment, and antennas and repeaters at sites affected by Hurricane Sandy.”
— “This request would provide $855,000 to replace Immigration and Customs Enforcement law enforcement vehicles damaged in Hurricane Sandy.”
— “This request would provide $300,000 to replace Secret Service law enforcement vehicles as well as associated communications equipment permanently damaged by flooding associated with Hurricane Sandy.”
— “This request would provide $230,000 to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to replace three vehicles, repair communication lines, and replace damaged furniture as a result of Hurricane Sandy.”
— “This request would provide $20,000 for the Office of Inspector General to repair and replace vehicles, equipment, and furniture as a result of Hurricane Sandy.”
— “This request would provide $348 million for large-scale National Park Service projects that repair or rehabilitate a resource or facility damaged in national parks as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Hardest hit parks include Statue of Liberty Island, Ellis Island, Gateway NRA, and Fire Island. This request also includes funding for affected parks in Florida, North Carolina, and the D.C. area. Federal real property damage includes buildings, utilities, seawalls, docks, piers, and shoreline restoration. Equipment damage includes damages to radios, fueling stations, vehicles, boats, fire systems and historical assets.”
— “This request would provide $78 million for large-scale Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) projects that repair or rehabilitate resources or facilities damage to National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) or other FWS properties, such as Fish Health and Technology Centers in response to Hurricane Sandy. Refuges that were hit hardest by the Hurricane include E.B. Forsythe NWR (New Jersey), the Long Island NWR Complex (New York) and Prime Hook NWR (Delaware). This request also includes funding for Refuges from Florida to Maine. Major damage to Federal real property includes buildings, utilities, vegetation, gates, fences, seawalls, docks, and shorelines. Equipment damage includes damages to water treatment tanks, fueling stations, vehicles, and boats.”
Like the stimulus package that included $300 million for cars, this Hurricane Sandy bill, known among Republicans on Capitol Hill as "Sandy Scam," is being turned into a mini auto bailout by the Obama administration.