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Vote Alert

NTU urges "YES" votes on the Lee Supplemental Offset, S. Amdt. 4 to H.R. 152

January 28, 2013

NTU urges all Senators to vote “YES” on the Lee Supplemental Offset, S. Amdt. 4 to H.R. 152. This amendment makes modest, yet essential spending reductions over nine years to offset the Sandy Supplemental’s $50.7 billion price tag.

When faced with yet another year of massive deficits and a struggling economy, it is incumbent on Congress to ensure that all spending, emergency or otherwise, is dealt with responsibly by avoiding unnecessary additions to the $16.4 trillion national debt. The Lee Amendment to H.R. 152 does so by providing for an additional cut of just barely one half of one percent under the current Budget Control Act caps, more than “paying for” the entire cost of H.R. 152. Within the context of a $3.8 trillion budget, paring back $51.2 billion over 9 years –  only 0.49% -- shouldn’t  be an agonizingly difficult decision. Instead of perpetuating out-of-control expenditures, this amendment begins to adjust the margins of our unwieldy budget, cutting waste and fraud to meet the needs of victims of Hurricane Sandy without abdicating accountability. Although some may question the priorities established in H.R. 152, the Lee Amendment demonstrates that the government can provide relief from a natural disaster without perpetuating a fiscal disaster.

Roll call votes on S. Amdt. 4 to H.R. 152 will be included in NTU’s annual Rating of Congress and a “Yes” vote is considered the pro-taxpayer position.

Unless otherwise offset or amended, NTU urges all Senators to vote “NO” on H.R. 152, the “Disaster Relief Appropriations Act.” Such a vote would be included in NTU’s annual rating of Congress.

Instead of focusing on the immediate, urgent needs of those who suffered the devastating consequences of Hurricane Sandy, through H.R, 152 Congress is once again attempting to spend money we don’t have on all manner of projects simply by deeming them “emergencies.” Billions of taxpayer dollars for NOAA, Amtrak, community development block grants, and highway funding nationwide are better considered during regular order, not in an emergency supplemental package. This kind of back-door pork-barrel spending pushes the enormous costs of H.R. 152 6 percent over the limits imposed by the Budgetary Control Act. Congress should be demonstrating a more prudent attitude toward budgeting and a more effective, expedited approach toward disaster assistance.

If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700