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Statement from Rep. Perry on Hurricane Sandy Relief

Location: Washington, DC

The following is a statement from Rep. Scott Perry on Hurricane Sandy legislation:

"Growing up, my family was twice flooded out of our home by severe storms that caused an overflow of the Yellow Breeches. As a state representative, I have seen the impact of natural disasters on my own community -- and am well aware they could happen again.

Last week, I opposed legislation to increase the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) borrowing authority because the NFIP is already $20 billion in debt. Some of that spending was unrelated to Hurricane Sandy, nearly half of the funds would not be spent until well beyond 2014, and no effort was made to pay for this new debt.

We all want to help our neighbors impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Yet, at a time when we are handing down more than $16 trillion in debt to future generations, isn't it common sense at least to try to find ways to pay for it? Or at least seek greater accountability in how such money is spent? We want a strong national defense, good schools and a secure social safety net as well, but the government can no longer keep spending money, no matter how well intended, without a plan to pay for it.

Yesterday, I supported bipartisan legislation, H.R. 219, which expedited and streamlined Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts and could save hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. I was hopeful that I could support additional legislation that was effective and efficient and truly met the emergency needs of Hurricane Sandy victims. Unfortunately, the legislation approved by the House today, H.R. 152, "The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013," cost more than $50 billion and included funding unrelated to Hurricane Sandy. I supported amendments to H.R. 152 that would have offset some of the bill's cost with reductions in other government spending, but those efforts were unsuccessful and I opposed the final version of H.R. 152.

Efforts to offset federal disaster spending are not new. In 2005, a bipartisan majority of the House, including 202 Republicans and 106 Democrats, supported $34 billion in offsets to Hurricane Katrina aid, including a 1% government-wide spending rescission.

This was not an easy vote to cast. I remain committed to working with my colleagues, regardless of political party, to find real solutions to the issues facing our nation. But the days of passing on ever increasing debt to future generations must come to an end."

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