Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R., S.C.) discussed his amendment to pay for emergency spending in the Hurricane Sandy relief bill Tuesday morning on CNBC. Mulvaney said that until the government can get its finances in order, Congress needs to provide offsets so emergency spending does not add to our debt:
CARL QUINTANILLA: Talk to me about this amendment. Is the future of all aid after a natural disaster now contingent, in your view, on corresponding cuts?
MICK MULVANEY: I think it is until we get our fiscal house in order. You go back several years and we didn’t pay for this. We were actually managing our money fairly well. That is to say, we had deficits probably bigger than some people wanted but they were certainly manageable – they weren’t a trillion dollars a year. Here we are borrowing money to keep the lights on behind me and in that world I think every additional expenditure has to come under some level scrutiny, some level of discussion as to how we are going to pay for it and that unfortunately includes the Sandy relief bill.
QUINTANILLA: I’m in Manhattan where people are upset about the delay of any aid regarding Sandy and I’m sure you can imagine they would say, what happens if your home state of South Carolina is the one devastated next time? Would you feel the same?
MULVANEY: Absolutely. Let’s make perfectly clear. I do live in a hurricane-prone state. I’ve been through hurricanes and floods. I’ve benefited from some of these programs myself when when my business was flooded. This is not a debate whether or not the government should do it. There are members in our party who do not think this is a proper function of government. I’m not in that crowd. I think the government should be doing this. The question is, is it important enough for us to pay for it or are we simply going to move that burden down to our kids? This is not designed to be a delay today, it’s not designed to be a poison pill. It’s designed to have a very real and necessary conversation about whether or not we’re going to continue to go to other nations and ask them to lend us money to take care of our own people.