Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05) this week introduced legislation that could save billions of taxpayer dollars and bring greater transparency to disaster relief funding.
H.R. 4386 would require Congress to include disaster relief funding with all other discretionary spending under the Budget Control Act (BCA). By including disaster relief funding under the BCA's spending caps, instead of outside the caps, Congress could save taxpayers about $100 billion over the next ten years. (Congress passed the BCA last August, imposing spending caps on federal discretionary spending in order to reduce the federal debt.)
The BCA includes a loophole that allows disaster related funding to fall outside of discretionary spending, avoiding the spending caps, and giving the false impression of increased savings in the budget.
"This BCA loophole is a classic Washington budget gimmick designed to make it look like spending is lower than it really is. We are not doing the American people any favors by not being transparent and upfront with our budget. My bill would ensure that disaster relief funding is reflected in the budget and falls under the same caps as other discretionary spending." -- Doug Lamborn (CO-05)
Note: Last year, President Obama issued over 240 FEMA disaster declarations, breaking the previous record by over 80. Most disasters -- tornadoes, snowstorms, fires, floods - are state and local issues. However, President Obama increased the national debt with his very generous use of "disaster declarations."