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PorkBusters update: Sen. Allard’s reply

Posted by Richard on October 27, 2005

PorkBusters -- Help the blogosphere cut the fatHot on the heels of Rep. Udall, Sen. Wayne Allard has responded to my letter to Colorado’s senators and representatives regarding the six projects I identified for PorkBusters. Allard has been a fairly reliable fiscal conservative, so I’m somewhat disappointed in his response. It’s not the fetid, steaming pile deposited by Colorado’s junior senator, but it falls short of Udall’s letter.

Like Salazar and Udall, Allard completely ignored the six specific projects I asked about. Allard’s form letter wasn’t as completely off the mark as Salazar’s, but it wasn’t as targeted at the subject I wrote about as Udall’s. And unlike Udall, Allard offered no interesting ideas, no bill he’s working on, no specifics at all — "we need to do more" to control spending, pork is "part of the problem," and he’ll oppose "unrelated amendments" to future Katrina relief appropriations. Whoop-de-doo.

Here’s the whole thing:

Dear Richard:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding supplemental
appropriations bills that provide funds for Hurricane Katrina relief.  I
appreciate you sharing your comments and concerns with me about this
important issue.

I am encouraging vigorous oversight of all of the relief efforts by the
Senate Committees.  I believe we need to do more to control spending.
Pork barrel spending is part of the problem.
As you may know, in response to the widespread destruction brought to the
Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina, the 109th Congress has completed action
on two separate emergency supplemental bills (P.L. 109-61/H.R. 3645 and
P.L. 109-62/H.R. 3673), which together provide $62.3 billion for the
immediate emergency response and recovery needs of the affected region.
Both measures contain all funding requested by the Administration,
including $10.5 billion in P.L. 109-61 and $51.8 billion in P.L. 109-62.
The Administration has stated that additional requests for supplemental
funding will be made in the weeks and months ahead as loss and recovery
estimates become available.
I am opposed to attaching unrelated amendments to future Hurricane Katrina
supplemental appropriations bills.  I believe that including irrelevant
provisions in an emergency spending bill is an inappropriate way to
legislate, and I will resist any amendments that would take money away
from the relief efforts in the Gulf Coast region.
It is important for the federal government to be frugal with the
taxpayers’ money and to ensure that each dollar is spent with the taxpayer
in mind.  On September 19, 2005, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Inspector General, Richard L. Skinner, announced that Matthew Jadacki will
join his office to establish an Office for Hurricane Katrina Oversight.
The Office will focus on preventing problems through a proactive program
of internal control reviews and contract audits to ensure disaster
assistance funds are being spent wisely. Mr. Jadacki will be responsible
for overseeing the management and expenditure of all contracts, grants and
governmental operations related to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Thank you for writing to share your concerns. I look forward to hearing
from you again. If you would like more information on issues important to
Colorado and the nation, please log on to my website at

                                               Wayne Allard
                                               United States Senator

Jeez, there’s more information about what the Department of Homeland Security is doing than about what Sen. Allard is doing. Allard has never been a high-profile, take-charge guy and hasn’t dropped lots of bills in the hopper, but this is pretty lame even for Senator Bland.

If Salazar rated an F and Udall a C+, then Allard gets a D. If I were feeling charitable, I might give him a C- on the assumption that his vague, platitudinous remarks about controlling spending and being frugal will actually translate into some decent votes. His past record suggests they might.

But I’m not feeling charitable.

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