Key Vote Alert – “NO” on Harvey Disaster Relief Bill (HR __)



“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.