Club for Growth: Congress Must Offset Harvey Spending; Urges Separate Consideration of Debt Ceiling Increase
Rachael Slobodien - September 05th, 2017
“Opportunistic politicians are using this tragedy as a blank check to fund pet projects. They are exploiting victims to hand out pork — it’s despicable.”
Washington, DC – Today, Club for Growth President David McIntosh issued the following statement in response to press reports that the House of Representatives and the Senate this week will likely vote on a Harvey spending bill and a debt ceiling increase. The House is expected to vote on the Harvey relief bill as early as this Wednesday. The vote will be included in the Club for Growth’s 2017 Congressional Scorecard:
“The events last week in Houston were devastating, but even before the murky waters in Texas have fully receded, Congress is already up to its old shenanigans,” stated Club for Growth President David McIntosh.
“That’s because when special interests and lobbyists hear the magic words ‘emergency spending’ their eyes light up like a kid at Christmas-time. Instead of reserving emergency funds for those in greatest need of assistance, opportunistic politicians are using this tragedy as a blank check to fund pet projects all over the country. They are exploiting victims to hand out pork — it’s despicable.
“Club for Growth has long fought for offsetting emergency spending for natural disasters and will continue to do so. Disasters like Harvey may be unpredictable, but we know with 100 percent certainty that they will occur. Congress needs to stop using the ‘emergency’ label as an excuse for politicians to spend money without paying for it. All disaster relief should always be paid for. Period.”
With regard to the debt ceiling increase, David McIntosh noted, “The idea of coupling an increase in the debt ceiling with a Harvey spending bill is equally abhorrent. For months, Secretary Mnuchin advocated for a clean debt ceiling. That measure – increasing our nation’s spending ability without significant structural reforms – was reckless enough on its own. But now, with the Senate’s intention to add Harvey spending to a debt ceiling increase, even calling it a ‘clean’ increase is a misnomer; this action is dirtier than ever.”
Andrew Roth - September 05th, 2017
KEY VOTE ALERT
“NO” on Harvey Disaster Relief Bill (HR __)
The Club for Growth urges all House members to oppose the Hurricane Harvey disaster relief bill if it is not fully offset with spending cuts. This includes fully offsetting any unrelated spending as well. A vote is expected as early as this Wednesday. The vote will be included in the Club for Growth’s 2017 Congressional Scorecard.
Disaster relief bills should always be offset with spending cuts for a couple of reasons. First, because such bills are considered “must pass,” they are typically loaded up with pork projects that politicians and special interests favor. This type of logrolling is patently unfair to the victims of natural disasters and to taxpayers. Fully offsetting the spending would provide some restraint on this bad behavior. Second, politicians addicted to more spending with little accountability use the “emergency” designation to obfuscate their fiscal irresponsibility. In practice, the designation is meaningless. It’s true that Hurricane Harvey was unpredictable, but it’s an absolute certainty, and thus not an emergency, that hurricanes are going to happen. So it’s vital that Congress prepare for such events and pay for them.
Finally, press reports suggest that the Senate will attach a debt ceiling increase, perhaps valued at over $2 trillion, to the Harvey spending bill. A debt ceiling increase is nothing more than Congress bailing itself out – at taxpayer expense – because Congress routinely fails to balance the budget. So adding the debt ceiling increase to the disaster relief bill is just throwing bad policy on top of bad policy. It should be vigorously opposed.
Our Congressional Scorecard for the 115th Congress provides a comprehensive rating of how well or how poorly each member of Congress supports pro-growth, free-market policies and will be distributed to our members and to the public.
Stacy French - August 24th, 2017
Rachael Slobodien - August 23rd, 2017
Washington, DC – Today, the Club for Growth PAC announced its endorsement of Texas state senator Van Taylor for United States House of Representatives. Taylor is running for the seat held by retiring Congressman Sam Johnson (TX-03).
“Club for Growth PAC is thrilled to announce its support for Van Taylor and his campaign for Congress,” stated Club for Growth PAC President David McIntosh.
“Van is the definition of a tried-and-true economic conservative, and he is exactly the type of candidate Club for Growth PAC seeks to endorse. As a state senator Van has proven himself to be the real deal; he has fought for taxpayers and has a pro-growth legislative record to show for it. We have no doubt he will serve Texas well as the future Congressman of the third district.”