In a statement to the press, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., denounced colleagues who voted against his amendment to offset federal funding disaster relief through cuts to foreign aid.
On Thursday, Democratic leaders granted Paul a debate on the measure in exchange for cooperation in allowing the bill to go forward ahead of schedule. The legislation sought to pay for Federal Emergency Management Agency funds by cutting unspent State Department money for fiscal year 2011.
The Senate rejected the proposal by an overwhelming 78 to 20 vote, which Paul says is another example of reckless government spending.
“Increasing our national debt at a time when our country is in financial dire straits is irresponsible and a dereliction of our responsibility to the American people,” Paul said in a news release. “By cutting from the coffers that fund overseas welfare and nation-building and injecting that funding into disaster assistance for Americans, we are able to continue disaster assistance commitments to communities without borrowing on the backs of our children and grandchildren.”
Instead, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed a $7 billion bill to replenish federal disaster aid, which sets up another battle with the GOP-controlled House over spending priorities.