NTU urges all Representatives to vote as follows on H.R. 152
January 15, 2013
As the House considers H.R. 152, the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, NTU urges all Representatives to support only those initiatives that meet the immediate, urgent needs of those who suffered the devastating consequences of the Hurricane Sandy without adding to our deficit. This is the first of two communications on this costly bill based on the best information currently available to us. To that end, please vote accordingly on the following amendments:
- “NO” on Amendment #1, Rep. Rogers (R-KY): While far less costly than the amendment offered by Rep. Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), at a time of soaring debt, it is fiscally irresponsible to spend $17 billion without offsetting those costs. Roll-call votes on the Rogers Amendment to H.R. 152 will be included in NTU’s annual Rating of Congress and a “No” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.
- “NO” on Amendment #2, Rep. Frelinghuysen (R-NJ): Paired with Rep. Rogers’ substitute amendment, Rep. Frelinghuysen’s additional $33.7 billion request would bring the total of this appropriations bill to over $50 billion, again without any corresponding spending cuts elsewhere in the budget. It is very difficult to make the case that this amendment is necessary for emergency disaster relief in response to Hurricane Sandy when eighty percent of the funds would not be spent until after FY2014. Items like $25 million for improvements to NOAA, $118 million to the already financially troubled northeast corridor of Amtrak, $16 billion for community development block grants, and another $2 billion for highway funding nationwide should be considered during regular order, not in an emergency supplemental package. Roll-call votes on the Frelinghuysen Amendment to H.R. 152 will be significantly weighted in NTU’s Rating of Congress and a “No” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.
- “YES” on Amendment #4, Rep. Mulvaney (R-SC): Congressman Mulvaney’s amendment would achieve $17 billion in spending restraint with the goal of paying for the Rogers Amendment. It does so by eliminating direct payments to farmers under the 2008 Farm Bill and by stopping any further taxpayer funds from being obligated under TARP, two commonsense spending cuts. Roll-call votes on the Mulvaney Amendment to H.R. 152 will be included in NTU’s Rating of Congress and a “Yes” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.
Together, the Rogers and Frelinghuysen Amendments constitute a 6 percent increase over the limits imposed by the Budgetary Control Act. Unfortunately, Congress is once again trying to skirt fiscal constraints to continue spending money we don’t have on all manner of projects simply by deeming them “emergencies.” Lawmakers should take greater care to ensure the remainder of this package reflects both a 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******************************************