If US Rep. Keith Rothfus couldn't vote for $9.7 billion in Hurricane Sandy relief because it wasn't offset with spending cuts, can he be expected to vote tonight for $50 billion more?
Facing criticism for his vote at home Rothfus sought to explain it today in a letter to the Post-Gazette:
I want to vote for Hurricane Sandy disaster relief funding. I simply believe we should try to pay for the spending.
The House of Representatives recently voted to increase the borrowing authority of the National Flood Insurance Program. I voted against the measure because it added nearly $10 billion to our already frightening deficit and national debt. Congress should have found a way to pay for this funding.
Given that the federal government's budget has grown by $700 billion to $3.6 trillion over the past four years, I believe we could have found $10 billion to offset the needed infusion for the flood insurance program.
The House will vote today on Sandy disaster relief. I am scrutinizing the legislation to make sure the funding goes to Sandy-related recovery and not to unrelated projects. Several amendments will be considered that would begin to pay for this spending now rather than passing the bill for the full amount on to our kids and grandkids.
Our country is more than $16 trillion in debt and has incurred more than $85 trillion in unfunded liabilities. This debt is hurting job growth, downgrading the nation's credit rating and setting us up for serious inflation that will hurt seniors, those on fixed incomes and hardworking families. It is prudent to address these concerns when we provide relief for those hit by disasters.
It is an honor to serve Western Pennsylvania in Congress. Your input is essential to my ability to represent you effectively. If you have a comment or concern please visit Rothfus.house.gov/contact/email-me.
The writer is a Republican from Sewickley newly elected to represent Pennsylvania's 12th District in Congress