I offer this without commentary as an insight to how politicians view the constraints they face. From the San Francisco Chronicle :
House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco said Tuesday she
was willing to return to the federal Treasury $70 million designated for San
Francisco projects in the new highway and transportation bill and use the money
to help pay for Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts.
Her counterpart, House Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, said that
while he would consider cutting all other domestic discretionary spending to
raise the tens of billions of dollars needed for Katrina relief, it was a bad
idea to take money from transportation projects.
His suburban Houston district is slated to get $64.4 million under the
bill, and DeLay has said that he brought home an additional $50 million for
freeway projects in the metropolitan area. He also helped secure $324 million
in funding credits for Houston’s light rail construction.
The headline is informative too:
Pelosi willing to give up S.F. funds for recovery