Instapundit has been reporting regularly about this here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
Glenn Reynolds encourages us to write our Senators and Representatives, and if we get a response to Email him.
So here's my contribution. I sent this letter to both my senators this afternoon.
Note: due to the EMail form at each Senator's site, the hyperlink formatting didn't go through, so the links I have in the letter I sent will be of no use to whoever is reading their Email. But since two of the three are their own websites, they shouldn't have a problem finding the information.
Dear Senators Wyden and Smith,
This letter is to both of the Senators for the State of Oregon. As a resident of Oregon, I want to make sure that my representatives in the Senate are doing their utmost to make sure that our tax-payers money is well spent. In addition, I know that it's in the interest of all our representatives and Senators to help with the reconstruction of New Orleans. To do so, without raising taxes as President Bush has proposed, means that you need to find the money out of the existing budget.
I not only think this a worthwhile endeavor, I also think it is something that should have been done a long time ago. I believe in the Federal Government's power to help the citizens of this country, but I also believe that its priorities are limited, and that those limitations are crossed continually by Congress. Once I believed, naively, that the Republicans would tamper down this tendency, but they have since proved me wrong.
Please take note of the website Porkbusters, which lists things that some people believe that the federal government either should not be funding, or things that could be put off for another day for the sake of those in our country that need it.
Also, I happened to notice that even your own websites (here and here) list the unnecessary spending proudly, as if you are impressed with yourselves in how much federal money you have the power to orient toward your home state. Specifically, I am speaking of many items in the transportation bill that you list on your sites. I was under the impression that federal money was supposed to pay for federal road improvements, but not for local bike paths and bridges not attached to federal roadways. It sickens me to think that I might someday be riding my bike on a path that was paid for at the expense of the people of New Orleans.
Senator Delay said recently that he could find no more funds to cut from the budget. I think you both can do better than that.
Please respond. What projects or spending have you targeted as excessive or unnecessary, and what are you prepared to do to find the funds to help the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast?