Last week, U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) filed a Freedom of Information Act request for an Inspector General report on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) illicit purchase and use of a $300,000 luxury fishing boat. The request was granted, and Senator Brown spoke from the Senate floor to reveal the numerous abuses detailed in the previously unknown findings of the Inspector General.
The following are the Senator Brown‘s remarks as prepared for delivery on the Senate floor:
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Here’s the transcript:
I rise today to inform you and the public of some highly disturbing information that I’ve just learned about a broken agency within our federal government – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
We all know that Washington doesn’t spend our money wisely. But sometimes it is worth highlighting examples of the corruption and waste.
Yesterday morning, I contacted the Commerce Department Inspector General to request a copy of their report on NOAA’s purchase of a $300,000 luxury boat.
It would be bad enough if they had purchased this boat with taxpayer dollars.
But they didn’t. They paid for it with money that should belong to our struggling fishermen. They paid for it out of the fines that fishermen pay into the pot when they mistakenly catch the wrong kind of fish. Those dollars are supposed to stay in fishing communities to help the fishermen.
Here’s the boat. For a government vessel, that’s pretty flashy. Take a look inside. That’s a fully-appointed bar, the latest in on-board entertainment systems, and leather furniture complete with the ice chest and tackle rack.
Furthermore, the fines that fishermen have been paying are putting fishermen out of business. The stories will break your heart.
Thanks to Ari David