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Henry Waxman: are we overpaying Carnival Cruise Lines?

We in California are usually sorry for inflicting Rep. Henry Waxman on the rest of the country, but sometimes he does something OK. Like, trying to find out whether FEMA is overpaying Carnival Cruise Lines for use of three of their ships.
Lawmaker Wants Review of Cruise Ship Deal

In a letter, Rep. Henry Waxman of California asked Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to release documents indicating how the price was calculated. Waxman said he had Carnival documents from 2002 showing the company normally earns revenue of $150 million over six months...
Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., also have called for investigations into whether the contract price, which amounts to roughly $1,275 a week per passenger if the three ships were at full capacity, is too high.
Carnival officials have defended the deal, saying the company will not make extra profit because the $236 million price covers the revenue it would normally receive for up to 120,000 passengers it could book.
But Waxman, the top Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee, said the 2002 financial data shows that taxpayers are paying Carnival "significantly more under the federal contract than the ships earned on their own."
He noted that the 2002 figure of $150 million in revenue includes sales for liquor and onshore excursions as well as maintenance costs for pools, bars and casinos, which aren't needed for hurricane evacuees and thus shouldn't be charged...

Previously

Less fiscally insane GOPers balk at Bush compassion

Some Republicans are wondering how Bush is going to pay for buying himself out of a hole in "G.O.P. Split Over Big Plans for Storm Spending":

...One fiscal conservative, Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, said Thursday, "I don't believe that everything that should happen in Louisiana should be paid for by the rest of the country. I believe there are certain responsibilities that are due the people of Louisiana."
Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, called for restoring "sanity" to the federal recovery effort. Congress has approved $62 billion, mostly to cover costs already incurred, and the price tag is rising. The House and Senate approved tax relief Thursday at an estimated cost of more than $5 billion on top of $3.5 billion in housing vouchers approved by the Senate on Wednesday.
"We know we need to help, but throwing more and more money without accountability at this is not going to solve the problem," Mr. DeMint said...
"We know this is a huge bill," said Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona. "We don't want to lay it on future generations."
...After the speech, Speaker J. Dennis Hastert acknowledged that the price tag means that "for every dollar we spend on this, it is going to take a little bit longer to balance the budget." He said he was willing to listen to ideas to pay for the aid, but, "Quite frankly, we have to get this job done."
..."There has never been a time where there is more total spending and more wasteful spending in Washington than we have today," said Pat Toomey, a former Republican congressman from Pennsylvania and the head of the conservative Club for Growth. "There is ample opportunity to find the offsets we need so that this does not have to be a fiscal disaster as well as a natural disaster."

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