Jason Chaffetz has made a serious charge against the Democrats in the House of Representatives. He accuses: “Although the Clear Act (H.R. 3534) is being advertised as a bill to establish new laws and regulations in response to the Deepwater Horizon spill, the Democrat majority is using it as a vehicle to push through nearly $1.5 billion dollars a year in unrelated spending, for a total of over $40 billion in new mandatory spending.”
40 billion dollars in new mandatory spending! That sounds pretty outrageous, doesn’t it?
That amount is smaller, though, than the 59 billion dollars in new mandatory spending that Congressman Chaffetz voted for just this week. That was a vote for new spending to a federal department that auditors say could not account for 8.7 billion dollars Congress had already given to it. That vote puts Chaffetz in a poor position to lecture others about wasteful spending.
Well, what about the 1.5 billion dollars in “unrelated spending” that the Democrats just shoved into the Clear Act while no one was looking? What about, as Representative Chaffetz points out, the “amount possibly equaling $50 million per year” that will be used to create an Ocean Resources Conservation Fund? I mean, come on! How on earth can anyone say that an Ocean Resources Conservation Fund is at all related to offshore drilling, and to oil spills that kill huge masses of living things in the ocean? Like Chaffetz says, the Ocean conservation is just totally unrelated to the Gulf Oil Spill.
Well, of course, the creation of an Ocean Resources Conservation Fund is directly related to the Gulf Oil Spill, and to offshore drilling, and to every other oil spill in the ocean. That’s because ocean conservation has to deal with the preservation of fisheries, and oyster beds, and other ocean resources that have been decimated by the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling disaster. Chaffetz fails to inform that the spending for the new Ocean Resources Conservation Fund comes from oil company profits, not from current federal government revenues. The fund doesn’t increase the federal budget deficit one bit.
It’s ridiculous for Chaffetz to claim that programs like this are unrelated to the oil spill. Likewise, it’s absurd for Chaffetz to assert that the bill’s 900 million dollar extension of the current Land and Water Conservation Fund. That fund enables the creation and maintenance of the very kind of coastal wildlife refuges that were hit so hard by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Nothing could be more related than this fund.
Chaffetz is counting on his constituents to be ignorant of the facts of the Clean Act, so that he can serve the corporate interests of big oil companies like BP. Those of his constituents who care to check the facts will find that it’s the assertions Chaffetz makes that are unrelated… to reality.