INDIANAPOLIS – As the Senate once again yesterday passed a disaster relief bill with overwhelming majorities and sent it to the President’s desk, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Congressmen Messer and Rokita are isolating themselves with their harmful votes against disaster relief victims.
Joe Donnelly joined his Senate colleagues yesterday to appropriate disaster relief funding for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico and around the country, as well as those affected by the wildfires in California. It’s crucial funding that will help struggling communities across America get back on their feet and is a necessary supplement to the $15 billion allocated in September to help kickstart the recovery process.
While the bill received strong support in both the House and the Senate, Congressmen Messer and Rokita both found themselves among the few Members opposed to it. This actually isn’t even the first time they’ve sided against funding for recovery victims—both Congressmen were among the 90 Members of Congress to vote against the initial disaster relief package last month, against the wishes of the president.
Congressmen Messer and Rokita have suggested they oppose the bills because they place their concerns about the debt before the needs of Americans suffering from natural disasters. But this month, Congressman Messer’s and Rokita’s party is in the process of passing a budget that will add $1.5 trillion to the debt over ten years. Despite their rationalizations, Brian Howey wrote a column Friday stating that “all these years, [their] deficit hawk stuff was just BS” in light of the budget.
“With each passing vote against American disaster relief victims trying to piece their lives back together after hurricanes and wildfires, Congressmen Messer and Rokita show just how removed they are, not only from the average American, but even the majority of Republicans in the body they’re trying to join,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Senior Media Strategist for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Congressmen Messer and Rokita can’t even hide behind claims to be deficit hawks any more. They’ve simply forgotten that helping our neighbors when they’re down is the American thing to do.”