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Brooks votes against disaster relief bill due to concerns over pork and other added items

Congressman Mo Brooks speaking on the House floor.

Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, voted “No” on HR2157, the disaster relief appropriations bill. HR2157 passed the U.S. House of Representatives 257-150. Brooks objected to all of the other things loaded into the disaster appropriation and what it would add to the debt.

“America’s debt recently blew through the $22 trillion mark,” Brooks said. “The Congressional Budget Office projects an $897 billion budget deficit for FY 2019 and a string of trillion dollar a year deficits that begin in FY 2022 and only end after America has slid into a debilitating insolvency and bankruptcy. Yet, today, the House of Representatives passed (without my vote) HR2157, a bill that includes $17.5 billion in new spending, all paid for with money America doesn’t have, has to borrow to get and cannot afford to pay back.”

“On top of all the financially irresponsible deficit spending, HR2157 contains a myriad of bad, Socialist Democrat policies unrelated to the purported purpose of the bill, disaster recovery, that cost American taxpayers roughly $2 billion,” Representative Brooks added. “Instead of working with President (Donald) Trump to configure a bipartisan bill he will sign, Socialist Democrats rammed through this bill that is chock-full of non-disaster related spending. And, all this spending comes despite the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) currently containing $29 billion, more than enough funds to cover the upfront disaster relief cost proposed by this legislation. Importantly, in another attempt to undermine the President’s attempts to secure America’s porous southern border, Socialist Democrats included a provision in the bill prohibiting any funds from going to border security.”

Trump tweeted his opposition to the bill and urged Republicans to vote “No.”

“House Republicans should not vote for the BAD DEMOCRAT Disaster Supplemental Bill which hurts our States, Farmers & Border Security,” Trump tweeted. “Up for vote tomorrow. We want to do much better than this. All sides keep working and send a good BILL for immediate signing.”

An earlier version of this passed in the House in January; but has gotten stalled in the Senate. The Trump administration and Democrats are divided over how much aid to give hurricane battered Puerto Rico among other things, including an effort by the President to get $4.5 billion in border security spending added to the bill. Since then, floods have ravaged the Midwest and tornadoes have battered the Southeast. The $19 billion bill includes aid for flood battered Midwestern farmers and money to rebuild military bases in Florida that were hit by a hurricane last year.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 257 to 150 with 34 Republicans voting with the Democrats.

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Congressman Mo Brooks is presently serving his fifth term representing Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.


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