At the end of the day, Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma are expected to be two of the most expensive storms to ever hit the United States and require billions in hurricane relief.
And no, progressives, that isn’t because of climate change. It’s simply due to the fact that they hit heavily populated areas, including areas far more developed than the last time a hurricane passed through.
Nonetheless, tens of billions in hurricane relief will be needed. But, the federal government shouldn’t create that money out of thin air.
Republicans often pay lip service about avoiding borrowing money. But they are as willing as Democrats to spend when a hurricane threatens their home state. Senator Ted Cruz has been at the forefront of the movement requesting federal hurricane relief, but hasn’t proposed any way to pay for it. Neither has any other member of the Texas Republican delegation.
Rand Paul wants to cut foreign aid to pay for hurricane relief
Instead of borrowing the money, Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul wants to pay for hurricane relief by cutting foreign aid spending commensurately. If $20 billion is needed for Hurricane Harvey, then foreign aid should be cut by $20 billion.
If another $10 billion is needed on top of that for Hurricane Irma, then foreign aid should be cut by an additional $10 billion. The current foreign aid budget is more than $40 billion, so there is plenty that can be cut to make up for the increase in spending following hurricane season.
Rand Paul’s amendment to the spending bills being considered to provide hurricane relief is aptly titled the “America First” amendment. Unlike many other pieces of legislation, the name is fitting. If passed, the amendment would ensure that every dollar allocated for Hurricane Harvey and Irma relief is paid for with an equal cut to the foreign aid budget.
The amendment’s title also plays off of one of President Trump’s better known campaign slogans. If the President wishes to put the needs of the American people first, then he should support Paul’s hurricane relief amendment.
Watch Senator Rand Paul introduce his America First hurricane relief amendment below:
(Photo of Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, speaking during the Sunshine Summit conference on November 14, 2015 in Orlando, Florida by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.)