Friday, September 8, 2017

Congress Just Made Hurricane Harvey a Nationwide Disaster

Congress has just cleared legislation to suspend the U.S. debt limit and provide $15.25 billion for hurricane relief under a deal between President Donald Trump and Democrats, reports Bloomberg.

In a 316-90 vote, the House agreed to suspend the debt limit and keep the government open through Dec. 8 and finance aid to flood victims in Texas and other parts of the Gulf coast. The measure, already passed by the Senate, now goes to Trump for his signature.

Of course, the $15.25 billion doesn't fall out of the sky like the torrential rains of Hurricane Harvey, it is squeezed out of American taxpayers, run through crony DC and then dished out in bureaucratic fashion.

Further, the idea that charitable acts must be run through coercive government machine is an insult to the American people.

The bailout also disincentives individuals from taking care of themselves with proper insurance.

Trump sent Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and OMB Director Mick "Phony Small Government"  Mulvaney to push the legislation with Republicans.

Bloomberg reports:
Immediately before the vote, House Republicans were infuriated at the sales pitch for the deal by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House budget director Mick Mulvaney. In a private meeting, lawmakers hissed and groaned when Mnuchin told them, "vote for the debt ceiling for me," said Mark Walker of North Carolina, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee.
It was an "incredibly weak performance" by
the Treasury secretary, Walker said. Representative Dave Brat of Virginia called Mnuchin’s comments "intellectually insulting." Despite the grumbling, most Republicans voted for the deal.
There were  17 "No" votes in the Senate:

 NAYs ---17
Corker (R-TN)
Daines (R-MT)
Enzi (R-WY)
Ernst (R-IA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Lankford (R-OK)
Lee (R-UT)

McCain (R-AZ)
Moran (R-KS)
Paul (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Sasse (R-NE)

Toomey (R-PA)

In the House, all of the 90 votes in opposition were from Republicans.

HEROIC: Four Texas Republicans voted against the measure, despite the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey on their state: Reps. Joe Barton, Jeb Hensarling, Sam Johnson and Mac Thornberry.

Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus also opposed the package, including Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Dave Brat (Va.), Scott Perry (Pa.) and Mark Sanford (S.C.).

But two other Freedom Caucus members from Texas did cast their votes in favor: Reps. Louie Gohmert and Randy Weber.

The Republican Study Committee, the largest GOP caucus in the House with more than 150 members, opposed the deal.

The disaster aid includes $7.4 billion for disaster relief, $7.4 billion in emergency funds for Community Development Block Grants and $450 million for the Small Business Administration disaster loan program.


1 comment:

  1. I predict that, in a year or so, the fiction of the "debt ceiling" will be memory holed forever.