The relocation of CSX is back in the news. I have to admit that I am relieved they are talking about using existing rail lines now and are not planning to build a railroad in my community. But Coburn made several good points in his press release. It seems to me the $700 million could be better spent rebuilding our schools, sewer and water lines, government buildings, public libraries and helping people rebuild their homes. And one has to wonder why CSX was allowed to repair the rail line (at their expense) if they were only going to be asked to take it up again at taxpayer expense.
Coburn Expresses Concern about Pork Projects in Emergency Supplemental Bill
Supplemental may include $700 million to destroy
and relocate recently-repaired rail line
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senators Tom Coburn, M.D (R-OK) today urged his colleagues to resist the temptation to attach extraneous pork projects and other non-emergency items to the must-pass Hurricane Katrina and Iraq supplemental spending bill. Coburn specifically encouraged his colleagues to not attempt to use the supplemental as a vehicle to dismantle and relocate the CSX Gulf Coast line to clear the way for a new scenic road and other waterfront development projects.
“It is ludicrous for the Senate to spend $700 million to destroy and relocate a rail line that is in perfect working order, particularly when it recently underwent a $250 million repair. American taxpayers are generous and are happy to restore damaged property. But it is wrong for Senators to turn this tragedy into a giveaway for economic developers,” Dr. Coburn said.
“Emergency supplemental bills are designed to help our nation confront emergencies. While the current location of this rail line may be displeasing to local economic developers and politicians, it is hardly a national emergency,” Dr. Coburn said.
“The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina continues to be a nightmare for displaced persons in the Gulf Coast region. Tons of debris still has not been removed, and thousands of people are still in temporary housing. I hope the Senate uses common sense and puts true emergency needs ahead of the special interest requests of developers. The citizens of the Gulf Coast and taxpayers across America expect nothing less,” Dr. Coburn said.