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On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to vote NO on the emergency disaster aid package, H.R. 4667. The bill spends a massive amount of money without making any cuts to offset the cost.
House Republicans have long championed fiscal responsibility and opposed deficit spending. Unfortunately, this measure runs contrary to both of those promises, and would have devastating effects to our economy. Additionally, there is little accountability to ensure that the funds appropriated will be effectively used.
The bill provides a staggering $81 billion dollars for disaster relief with absolutely no offsetting cuts in other areas. This is the largest request for a single disaster relief package in United States history. Congress must make corresponding, necessary cuts to ensure that if this relief package is necessary, our economy is not adversely impacted as a result.
In addition, this amount of money is excessive and wasteful. It is nearly double the $44 billion that the White House initially requested. It is also substantially larger than each of the standalone disaster relief packages that were passed after Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, $60 billion and $50.6 billion, respectively. This is not to mention that this new disaster relief bill comes in addition to the $52 billion already spent this year on Hurricanes Irma, Maria, and on wildfire relief.
Appropriations for unrelated measures have also found their way into the package. It contains several billion dollars for education, federal highways, and small business loans. In particular, there is a provision in there that increases farm subsidies for cotton producers. It is shameful that Congress is trying to use these disasters to pass a pork-riddled bill that benefits special interests.
The United States ran a deficit of $666 billion dollars in FY 2017, and in June of this year, CBO projected the FY 2018 deficit to be $563 billion. While we are sympathetic to the plight of those in the path of hurricanes and wildfires across the country, this is not an excuse to further plunge us into debt by continuing reckless spending practices.
For these reasons, I urge you to call your representative and ask him or her to vote NO on the emergency disaster aid package, H.R. 4667. FreedomWorks will count the vote on our 2017 Congressional Scorecard. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.
Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks