Most members of Congress voted for the $15.25 billion hurricane relief package, which will be part of a series of funding allocated for Texas, Florida and all of the states that Irma destroys. However, when it comes to one set of Republicans the care and concern stops at platitudes.
All House Democrats voted to support the hurricane relief package, but five Republicans from Indiana decided Texas can fend for itself, the Indy Star reported. A similar battle broke out in the days following Hurricane Sandy, in which Texas refused to support an aid package for the states along the coast that sustained damage.
Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN) explained that after adding the debt ceiling to the relief measure, he was out.
“I can’t support the Senate’s legislation that piles on more deficit spending, without any effort to shake up the status quo, balance budgets and pay down our debt,” he said in a statement.
FEMA was nearly bankrupt, with the agency scheduled to run out of money over the weekend and those applying for claims would have not been helped. According to CNN, as of Tuesday FEMA’S Disaster Relief Fund had just $1.01 billion left with only $541 million available immediately for Harvey response and recovery.
Indiana Republicans said no. Not if it will add to the deficit.
But when it comes to what those same Republicans are willing to authorize for their own state, they couldn’t care less about the deficit.
According to the 2014 budgets, Indiana scores $10 billion in federal aid each year. Of that, $123 million goes to pay for farmers to have crop insurance, in case natural disasters kill their corn. Approximately, one-third of Indiana’s budget comes from the federal government, contributing to the overall U.S. deficit.
Indiana is one of the top 10 states in the country that make more money from the federal government than they give back. Those Republican leaders seem willing to accept the money when it’s for them.