|Updated: 1/05 12:16 pm
||Published: 1/04 4:23 pm
On Friday, Congressman Jim Bridenstine voted against a proposal to increase the borrowing authority of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) by $9.7 billion, or 47%, to fund the shortfall in the National Flood Insurance Program covering the Hurricane Sandy damages.
Bridenstine commented on his vote, “Our hearts go out to the Hurricane Sandy victims. We recognize the need to honor the federal commitment to flood insurance holders. The proper way to increase the cap on disaster relief spending is to cut spending elsewhere. While the Obama Administration has argued that emergency spending should be exempt from offsets, we cannot continue to spend money that doesn’t exist.
“Our nation is burdened by a massive $16 trillion debt. If we had a budget, we could find places to cut spending to cover this increase. We do not have a budget, but the principle still applies.
“We have had plenty of time since the 2005 Hurricane Katrina Relief efforts to identify potential offsetting cuts in case of another disaster and to reform FEMA’s insurance program. Following Katrina, Congress rushed in with funding which was followed by years of waste and apparently few lessons learned.”
Newly elected Congressman Markwayne Mullin also voted against the bill, “While I would like nothing more than to help the people affected by the horrible devastation from Hurricane Sandy, I simply could not vote for a piece of legislation that offers no offsets to spending. Our nation is drowning in debt and I cannot, in good conscience, continue to pile more and more debt onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. You can’t get out of a hole by continuing to dig.”
The bill passed with only 67 Republican votes against it. Bridenstine pledged to continue to work toward long term solutions and a fiscally responsible approach to spending issues.