U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita today released the following statement after voting in support of an amendment offered by Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) to the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act. The Mulvaney amendment would make across-the-board cuts of 1.63 percent to all discretionary spending to offset the cost of new spending related to Hurricane Sandy. Rokita last week also introduced amendments that would require across-the-board cuts to non-defense discretionary spending to fully offset the proposed $50 billion in supplemental spending related to last year's hurricane.
"I strongly believe the federal government should play a key role in providing assistance for Hurricane Sandy's victims, but I will not provide that assistance on the backs of future generations. I voted for my friend and colleague's amendment -- and introduced my own similar amendments -- because it protects future generations by requiring us to pay for that assistance today.
"Washington is fully capable of reducing spending on lesser priorities and I refuse to believe in the false dilemma before us: pass an unpaid-for disaster bill, further victimizing the children of tomorrow, or reject an unpaid-for relief bill, denying Hurricane Sandy victims the assistance they need," said Rokita.
The amendment by Rep. Mulvaney failed by a vote of 258-162.
Earlier this month, Rokita voted against a bill to temporarily increase the borrowing authority of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for carrying out the National Flood Insurance Program.
In a guest column last week in the Lafayette Journal & Courier, Rokita explained the case for matching new, off-budget disaster relief spending with cuts in other areas.