Chris Hayes explains why the $38 billion Corker-Hoven amendment is nothing but a huge giveaway for defense contractors at taxpayers expense. So much for those so-called "fiscal conservatives" and their complaints that "we're broke."
We're apparently never too broke to line the pockets of the military industrial complex: Immigration deal would boost defense manufacturers:
The border security plan the Senate approved last week includes unusual language mandating the purchase of specific models of helicopters and radar equipment for deployment along the U.S.-Mexican border, providing a potential windfall worth tens of millions of dollars to top defense contractors.
The legislation would require the U.S. Border Patrol to acquire, among other items, six Northrop Grumman airborne radar systems that cost $9.3 million each, 15 Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopters that average more than $17 million apiece, and eight light enforcement helicopters made by American Eurocopter that sell for about $3 million each.
The legislation also calls for 17 UH-1N helicopters made by Bell Helicopter, an older model that the company no longer manufactures.
Watchdog groups and critics said that these and other detailed requirements would create a troubling end-run around the competitive bidding process and that they are reminiscent of old-fashioned earmarks — spending items that lawmakers insert into legislation to benefit specific projects or recipients. In the past several years, Congress has had a moratorium on earmarks.
The language was included in a $46 billion border security package the Senate approved last week as part of a comprehensive immigration bill. The so-called border surge — an additional $38 billion in spending — was added in the final week of negotiations to attract more GOP support for the measure, which passed with 68 votes, including 14 from Republicans. [...]
Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.), who co-sponsored the plan, said the provisions were aimed at assuaging the concerns of Republicans who are wary about creating a path to citizenship without tougher border measures.
“I was just trying to work with our caucus to get as many of our guys to participate,” Hoeven said. Read on...
Sure you were. As Hayes reminded everyone at the end of the segment:
Whenever someone says the word security, watch for your wallet.