Fiscally Conservative Lawmakers Under Fire After Voting Against Hurricane Harvey Aid

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Three hardline members of Congress–Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI), Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ)–raised eyebrows today after they voted against a popular aid package that would help Americans who were devastated by the carnage of Hurricane Harvey.

“Congress should provide disaster relief funding, and we should pay for it now instead of billing our children and grandchildren for it,” Amash said in a tweet, making it clear that he isn’t against helping the needy but wants to do so in a responsible manner. Massie and Biggs have not released public statements regarding their votes at the present time.

The package came out to $7.85 billion in total including $7.4 billion for a Disaster Relief Fund administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and $450,000 for a Small Business Administration disaster loan program. Tens of billions more in aid are expected to be sent in the months to come, with rumors circulating that future Harvey aid could be tied to a debt ceiling increase during future proceedings.

“As Congress moves forward, it is our responsibility to keep Hurricane Harvey relief on a safe, reliable track to passage. We should quickly pass a bill to assist victims with no add-on’s, no pork spending, and no attachments to gain leverage over separate issues,” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) said in a Washington Examiner op-ed Wednesday.

Meadows voted for today’s aid bill, but is expected to vote against anything that combines Harvey aid with fiscally imprudent legislation such as the debt ceiling increase. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) insisted that he would not play politics while Americans suffer from national disasters, but the Chamber of Commerce Republican from Janesville is not exactly known for keeping his word.

Amash and Biggs are fellow members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group consisting of staunch conservatives. The caucus made national news earlier this year by opposing Trump’s healthcare agenda, a manuever that frustrated the young president. Massie is not a member, but often finds himself fighting the same battles as the Freedom Caucus in their monumental struggle for liberty amidst the corrupt swamp.

Shane has been an activist for liberty-related causes for over 10 years. He is the Media Relations Director of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Michigan, State Director of the Michigan Tenth Amendment Center, and County Coordinator for Michigan Campaign for Liberty.

  • Numerous reasons why government “aid” would also include a ton of bloated bullshit, more debt, etc, etc. So, don’t just think these guys are being assholes.

    “Congress should provide disaster relief funding, and we should pay for it now instead of billing our children and grandchildren for it,” Amash said in a tweet, making it clear that he isn’t against helping the needy but wants to do so in a responsible manner.

  • tz1

    First, we should either fund disaster relief or not on the merits. “Not Yours to Give” is defensible.
    But second, this is a bit like saying “we need to wait a year to save enough money to begin treating the cancer”.
    Lets start with totally defunding Planned Parenthood and the Abortion industry, the National Endowments, CPB/PBS, All Obamacare subsidies, etc. And let these “fiscally responsible” republicans make a list of things that would pay for the aid that would make Trump’s base cheer.

  • “I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the government, the government should not support the people.

    The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.”
    -Grover Cleveland in a veto of a disaster relief bill

    • Jimmy Rustler

      Hawaii alone should have defended themselves against Japanese attack, the feds intervening was paternal care on the part of the feds.

  • This is one area we will disagree. The fetish with the Constitution goes a bit far sometimes. I just can’t see how we would prioritize a piece of paper over people. Will helping citizens, who btw are the ones that paid taxes, really destroy the constitution? No not at all. Rather than nickel and diming real needs we should take a serious look at our overbloated military.

    • There is no compromising on the Constitution. The pork shouldn’t have been added to this bill, so these three voted in the best interests of their constituents.

    • I agree with no pork. What I don’t agree with is putting a piece of paper above people. It isn’t sacred nor was it written by God himself and seems more like a false idol.

      • 100marymich

        John Waltz – No doubt you’d also love to dig the following gentlemen’s bones up and pound them into powder:
        DEBT:
        George Washington – “To contract new debts is not the way to pay old ones.”

        Thomas Jefferson- “To preserve our independence, we must not let our leaders load us with perpetual debt. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of caring for them, we will be wise.”

        Ben Franklin warned: “Think what you do when you run in debt; you give to another power over your liberty.”

        “We have the right as individuals to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money.” – Davy Crockett

        • sad4us

          EXCELLENT! You are someone who knows and understands what our founding fathers did! I commend you!

      • sad4us

        You obviously don’t know or understand the constitution. It was made to protect the people and if you can’t understand how that is supposed to work then please refrain from demeaning it as a simple piece of paper until you are willing to put forth the time and effort to study it and the Federalist Papers.

    • 100marymich

      John Waltz – Why don’t you scream for having all of the government rep’s to stop their “fetish” to swearing an oath to the U.S. Constitution? After all, the vast majority of them can’t seem to tolerate upholding their word anyway. And, you no doubt would like to wipe your feet all over this sovereign nation’s ONLY Supreme Rule of Law of the Land (Article 6).

    • Our entire government is over bloated. Wouldn’t be the case if politicians had stuck to that “piece of paper”. That goes for the military as well. Keep ignoring it though.

    • sad4us

      There is enough waste in our boated budget to easily fund disaster relief. The problem with the relief is that there will also be a lot of waste in the relief given. There needs to be set up a “disaster relief fund” of money that is set aside just for these things. One that CANNOT be touched for anything other than disaster relief.

      Again, there is plenty of money to be had if we stop the nonesese of pork spending by every congressman who wants to use the pork to buy votes for his next congressional run.

      And NO I am NOT in favor of a con-con to set up term limits. We can do that simply by the way we vote. Once there is a con-con we open up the constitution to all kinds of destructive ideas from libs and conserv.

  • The only Congressmen who voted in the best interests of their constituents….

  • Well good for him. I am glad someone is doing what is right.

  • Jimmy Rustler

    Since establishment parties have no loyalty to Trump, so its good that in order to push thru his agenda Trump worked with Dems to get hurricane aid. Anything that pisses off Paul Ryan and McCuck is good by me.

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