U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita today released the following statement after voting against a bill to increase the national debt by more than $50 billion with new, unbudgeted disaster spending related to Hurricane Sandy. Earlier today, Rokita voted in support of an amendment offered by Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) to make across-the-board cuts of 1.63 percent to all discretionary spending to offset the cost of the new spending. 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 share the compassion that all Americans have for Hurricane Sandy's victims, and agree that we should give them assistance. But it is immoral for us to do so at the expense of future generations, when we have the ability to cut other unnecessary spending today. I supported legislation -- including two amendments that I introduced -- that would have allowed us to help Hurricane Sandy's victims without passing the cost to our children and grandchildren.
"Washington is fully capable of reducing spending on lesser priorities, and I simply don't believe in the false dilemma that was put before us: to pass an unpaid-for disaster bill, further victimizing the children of tomorrow, or reject an unpaid-for relief bill, denying Hurricane Sandy's victims the assistance they need," said Rokita.
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.