Republican U.S. House candidate Mark Donka says he has a plan to ensure that the state gets full funding from FEMA for damage at the State Office Complex in Waterbury.
The Shumlin Administration is negotiating a settlement with FEMA and it’s possible that the state will not get all the money it’s seeking to construct a new office building on the Waterbury campus.
At a Statehouse news conference, Donka said Democratic incumbent Congressman Peter Welch hasn’t done enough to help the state get FEMA money.
Rather than increase funding levels for FEMA, Donka said he would support making cuts in some of the federal programs that Vermont currently receives.
"If I’m elected I will secure the money from the federal government without increasing the national debt one cent," said Donka. " I will find the money that can be eliminated from the budget and present my request to the House of Representatives asking for money to be appropriated for the state of Vermont to rebuild the office complex and hospital and it will be spending neutral."
Donka says finding up to $100 million in federal cuts should be pretty easy.
"Finding a teeny amount such as this should be like spotting a coin in a wishing well. I may very well discover another "bridge to nowhere," maybe it’s time to end the subsidies to Amtrak so that they no longer pay $3.40 for soda and sell it for $2."
Welch’s office says the Congressman has been working hard to bring FEMA money to Vermont and that he was one of only 6 Democrats to support a plan to pay for additional disaster assistance across the country by making offsetting cuts in the federal budget.