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Hand Up, Not Hand Outs


Location: Unknown

One of the unique qualities of Americans is our willingness to help our neighbors in need. In North Missouri, we know when our neighbors are having a hard time or need help getting back on their feet. It's a part of our way of life.

In Washington, however, every disaster has become an excuse to spend money without worrying about the budget. That's what happened last week when the House passed a $50 billion aid package to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.

No one disputes that Hurricane Sandy was a natural disaster and that the federal government has a role in helping the victims. Yet, according to the Congressional Budget Office, only ten percent of the funding would have been spent in 2013.

Worse than that, the bill was not paid for by cuts in spending. I believe that when the government spends money that was not in the budget, it should off-set that spending. That's what Missourians do every day. If your car stops running, you have to cut back spending elsewhere to get it fixed.

I voted for an amendment that would have cut $20.4 billion by placing a 1.6% across the board cut on discretionary spending. That's what happened in 2011, when we needed help recovering from floods in North Missouri. Unfortunately, that amendment failed.

I could not support a bill that was not paid for and contained many projects that had nothing to do with helping the disaster victims. I believe in a hand up, but not a hand out.

Sam Graves

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