On behalf of FreedomWorks’ activist community, I urge you to contact your senators and ask them to vote NO on the Senate Amendment to the Supplemental Appropriations Act, H.R. 2157. This amendment would provide for $19.1 billion in disaster relief funds for wildfires, hurricanes, and flooding, as well as for Puerto Rico.
This bill, which has been heavily negotiated for months, is nothing that any Republican should support. It appropriates too much money — more money than previously-passed versions of the legislation — when there is already more than $29 billion of disaster relief money still unspent.
Furthermore, it will be voted on with only hours’ notice without any members having truly read through the lengthy legislation to understand what is in it. This is unacceptable. Instead of continuing this abhorrent process for passing bills, Congress needs to change the way it approaches disaster relief spending. When we as a nation are $22 trillion in debt as we are now, the last thing we need to be doing is appropriating money that we don’t have, to causes that we don’t fully understand, in an unlimited manner.
Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) have introduced legislation, the Budgeting for Disasters Act, that would change this exact process, requiring that future disaster funding fall within statutory budget limits. Of course, this alone will not solve our spending problem and it is indeed waivable, as most restrictions and rules in Congress are, but it would be a step in the right direction. At the very least, Congress should be voting on a change like this, not on last-minute $19.1 billion spending bills that Senate leadership puts on the floor in an effort to save face from its failure to legislate properly.
FreedomWorks will count the vote on the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2157 when calculating our Scorecard for 2019 and reserves the right to weight any votes. 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