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Rothfus: Thoughtful and Responsible Disaster Relief Funding a Must


Location: Washington, DC

To be clear, I want to vote for Hurricane Sandy disaster relief funding. I simply believe we should try to pay for the spending.

The House of Representatives recently voted to increase the borrowing authority of the National Flood Insurance Program. I voted against the measure because it added nearly $10 billion to our already frightening deficit and national debt. Congress should have worked to find a way to pay for this funding. Given that the Federal government's $3.6 trillion budget has grown $700 billion over the past 4 years, I believe we could have found $10 billion to offset the needed infusion for the flood insurance program.

The House will vote today on Sandy disaster relief. I am scrutinizing this legislation to make sure the funding goes to Sandy-related recovery and not to unrelated projects. In addition, several amendments will be considered that would begin to pay for this spending now rather than passing the bill for the full amount to our kids and grandkids.

Why the concern about the debt? We are more than $16 trillion in debt, and we have more than $85 trillion in unfunded liabilities. This debt is hurting job growth, downgrading the nation's credit rating, and setting us up for serious inflation that will hurt seniors, those on fixed incomes, and hardworking families. In that light, it is prudent to attempt to address these concerns when we provide relief for those hit by disasters.

It is an honor to serve Western Pennsylvania in Congress. Your input is essential to my ability to represent you effectively. If you have a comment or concern please visit

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