Irresponsible: Congress Raises Debt Ceiling to Fund Hurricane Relief

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

2. Afghanistan

3. Egypt

4. Jordan

5. Pakistan

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?

Sources:

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

3. http://www.foreignassistance.gov/

4. https://blogs-images.forbes.com/niallmccarthy/files/2016/03/20160310_Foreign_Assistance_2.jpg 5. http://www.usdebtclock.org/

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About T. Arthur Mason 419 Articles
T. Arthur Mason is a native North Dakotan who has spent nearly all of his life in the Peace Garden State. As the third of four children in Western North Dakota, Mason grew to appreciate family and the outdoors. Some of his fondest memories are annual deer hunts with family and friends. In his early teenage years, faith became a central part of T. Arthur Mason's life. He and the majority of his family attend church together on a weekly basis and find this a fulfilling aspect of their lives. Through the influence of his father, T. Arthur Mason became intrigued with politics. As a boy, he attended political events with his father and enjoyed the friendships that resulted as a byproduct of those political associations. As Mason grew older, he became convinced that the quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was true, "That government is best which governs least." Today, T. Arthur Mason enjoys time with his wife and children, an occasional hunt, and an increasingly active life on the political scene. This blog is the fulfillment of a dream to design a web site in the realm of politics and to advocate for the principles of Liberty and constitutionally limited government. On behalf of all those that contribute to The Minuteman, we hope you enjoy your time on the site and will share the message with others.