Opinion Pay for the emergency funds with cuts from elsewhere

00:05  08 september  2017
00:05  08 september  2017 Source:   The Hill

U.S. awards Texas $25 million to make emergency road, bridge repairs

  U.S. awards Texas $25 million to make emergency road, bridge repairs The U.S. Transportation Department will provide Texas with $25 million in emergency funds to help with repairs to roads and bridges damaged by Tropical Storm Harvey, the agency said on Tuesday. Some roads and bridges in Houston are starting to buckle under the impact of catastrophic flooding, a Harris County flood control official said on Tuesday. The federal funds will be used to restore emergency access and initiate the most critical repairs to damaged roadways and bridges in the next few weeks, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a statement.

So, I have proposed a simple, “America First,” fiscally responsible solution: we should pay for the emergency funds with cuts from elsewhere , specifically money we send overseas to foreign countries.

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OPINION | Sen. Rand Paul: Pay for the emergency funds with cuts from elsewhere© Provided by The Hill OPINION | Sen. Rand Paul: Pay for the emergency funds with cuts from elsewhere

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

This week, Congress will vote on providing needed emergency money for Hurricane Harvey, which impacted so many people across Texas. I sympathize with everyone impacted, including many members of my own family (my parents and siblings live outside Houston).

I absolutely want to make sure their needs are met, and that we take care of people. But I also know that we are $20 trillion in debt and climbing, with no sign of letting up.

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Supplemental requests are considered emergency spending and, therefore, circumvent offset requirements. Republican leaders have said it is not fiscally irresponsible to approve funds for the wall without finding equal cuts elsewhere in the budget.

So, I have proposed a simple, "America First," fiscally responsible solution: we should pay for the emergency funds with cuts from elsewhere, specifically money we send overseas to foreign countries.

One of the things I and many other Americans liked about candidate Donald Trump was his America First policy. He talked often about building here instead of in Pakistan and Afghanistan. We send tens of billions overseas every year in aid, and we have spent trillions fighting and nation-building in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Instead of continuing that, let's take a portion of that money and spend it here to help the victims of this great disaster.

Harvey isn't the only emergency. Hurricane Irma has now hit the U.S. and looks like it might hit Florida this weekend, even stronger than Harvey. Others could still come. We must plan ahead, and we must pay for our needs.

House Is Said to Plan Vote on Harvey Funds in Mid-September

  House Is Said to Plan Vote on Harvey Funds in Mid-September (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. House will most likely vote on the first phase of emergency relief money for Hurricane Harvey in mid-September after returning from summer recess, a Republican aide said Thursday. The initial down payment would replenish Federal Emergency Management Agency funds used in the immediate aftermath of the massive storm that flooded parts of Houston with more than 50 inches of rain, said the aide, speaking on condition of anonymity. The House and Senate are set to return to Washington Sept. 5.

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People without emergency funds end up paying thousands more in interest charges from paying for emergencies with credit. Emergency Funds for Hours Cut at Work. Even someone who doesn’t lose their job can have their hours unexpectedly cut .

That's why I've offered an amendment to the emergency funding that offsets every dime of the proposed $15.25 billion through cuts to aid overseas that hasn't yet been spent.

This is how things should work. We should decide what our needs are, plan for them, and pay for them.

I urge my colleagues to join in this. I have my doubts, though, since included with the emergency bill that will come to the floor this week is a provision to raise our debt ceiling.

They say we are out of money to pay for hurricane relief. So instead of finding that money somewhere else in the budget, they simply want to raise the limit on our credit card.

This has to stop. We spend too much. We owe too much. We cannot keep spending money we do not have.

House and Senate leaders have now combined into one bill the hurricane relief we all know we need, along with a debt ceiling bill we can't afford, and a three-month spending bill with no spending cuts or reforms.

It's a lousy deal. We have been in charge of the House, Senate, and White House all year long, and we have no fiscal reforms or restraint to show for it.

This is a good time to show the American people we heard them. It's a good time for President Trump to embrace in practice his "America First" agenda in paying for rebuilding here by cutting what we spend over there.

This is common sense, and it is what every American family has to do every day - make choices and set priorities. I hope my colleagues will join me in adding just a bit of fiscal sanity to the deal this week.

Paul is the junior senator from Kentucky.

The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.

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