Emergency Supplemental Avoids Tough Choices and Fiscal Responsibility

Mr. Speaker, it is a disservice to the American people that the toughest challenges to our Nation at home and abroad are not addressed in a straightforward manner.

More than 1,000 days after the war in Iraq began, we continue to fund it on an emergency basis deceiving the American taxpayer of the true cost of this war through a budgetary maneuver that simply pushes the enormous cost onto the next generation. It is no longer appropriate for Congress to approve this funding as an emergency. We must account for this through the normal budget process to ensure that taxpayer money is spent responsibly and with accountability.

As for our response to protecting Americans at home from disasters, 75 percent of the American public is at risk from one or more natural disasters, such as floods, fires, or earthquakes--yet the Federal Government continues to pour money into disaster-prone areas without any forward thinking plans. Instead of funding upfront mitigation, planning, and preparedness for disaster-prone communities, we spend even more money in emergency supplemental for things that we should know by now to expect. Our bizarre budget rules make it cheaper to appropriate billions after the fact than to invest millions in proven prevention programs.

This emergency supplemental demonstrates Congress's complacency in dealing with tough choices and avoids fiscal responsibility.

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