Today the United States Congress passed legislation that will simultaneously raise the debt ceiling for three months and fund hurricane relief to the tune of $15 billion. This really comes as no surprise. Not only does Washington have a history of raising the debt ceiling, but passage of the bill comes just two days after President Trump voiced his support for the idea.
Make no mistake about it, those who found themselves in the path of Hurricane Harvey are in a state of desperation– and Hurricane Irma is preparing to wreak havoc that is potentially unmatched by anything seen in our history. While arguments can certainly be made about whether the federal government should play a role in disaster relief, I think it’s safe to say that ship had already sailed on this issue.
The commitment to doing something for those ravaged by the hurricane was already there. It was just a matter of how to fund it. It’s just unfortunate that Congress chose the route of raising the debt ceiling to do it.
Yesterday, Senator Rand Paul (R – Kentucky) wrote an opinion piece in which he urged his colleagues to find a:
“…simple, ‘America First,’ fiscally responsible solution: we should pay for the emergency funds with cuts from elsewhere, specifically money we send overseas to foreign countries.”
In considering this suggestion, it is expected that the United States will dole out over $42 billion in foreign aid in 2017. The top five recipients of the United States Foreign Welfare Program in 2016 were: 1. Israel
Quite the list, isn’t it? Had Senator Paul’s associates on Capitol Hill followed his good advice, there would have been no need to raise the debt ceiling in order to fund the $15 billion in Hurricane relief. There’s places to cut and foreign aid is certainly a great place to start.
Unfortunately, we continue to send representatives to Washington that are more interested in the status quo than they are in reversing the course we are on that has led to nearly $20 trillion in debt— and growing.
At this point, I wonder which is more irresponsible– the fact that they keep voting the way that they do? Or that we keep sending them back to Washington?
1. http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-budget/349623-opinion-sen-rand-paul-pay-for-the-emergency-funds-with 2. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/08/us/politics/hurricane-aid-debt-ceiling.html
4. https://blogs-images.forbes.com/niallmccarthy/files/2016/03/20160310_Foreign_Assistance_2.jpg 5. http://www.usdebtclock.org/