INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosiers continue to be shocked by Friday’s vote by Congressmen Messer and Rokita to break with President Trump and vote against a deal providing disaster relief funding for the Americans affected by recent hurricanes. Across the state in articles, columns, and letters, the two men were roundly condemned for their unpopular vote that made clear they believe “preventing deficit spending is more important than helping a bunch of homeless children in Houston.”
The massive mobilization to flush money, food, drinking water, diapers and whatever else into Texas after Hurricane Harvey proves Bush’s point.
But that kind of selflessness isn’t a guarantee. Take Todd Rokita and Luke Messer. The Indiana congressmen and U.S. Senate hopefuls were two of the 90 in the House who voted against providing more than $15 billion in hurricane aid over the weekend.
Messer issued a statement after his vote. To keep you from bashing your own head with a claw hammer, I won’t post it here. Boiled down, he thinks preventing deficit spending is more important than helping a bunch of homeless children in Houston.
Weirdly, that budgetary concern doesn’t extend to the city of Fishers, which pays his wife Jennifer Messer $20,000 a month for a part-time consulting gig. That kind of money could help the hurricane cleanup, but not without corresponding cuts, by god. We can’t waste the taxpayers’ money on frivolous things like making sure Houston residents don’t get sick from the massive mold problem left in the water’s wake. We’re not monsters.
Then there’s Rokita. When it comes to these kind of political moves, he’s a savvy veteran. He voted against Hurricane Sandy funding in 2013. And when requests for Hurricane Irma cash come through, he’ll probably vote against those, too.
WASHINGTON – Most Indiana Republicans opposed on Friday a $15.25 billion hurricane relief package that also increases the nation’s debt limit and funds the federal government for the next three months.
A spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party said Messer’s and Rokita’s vote puts them squarely on the opposite side of the issue from Trump, even though both have been trying to appeal to Trump supporters in their primary battle.
“This is the biggest legislative deal that the president has made to date,” said Democratic party spokesman Will Baskin-Gerwitz. “If both Congressmen Messer and Rokita are fighting to prove who is the biggest Trump disciple, why are they both suddenly abandoning him here?”
The package is the result of a deal Trump struck on Wednesday with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., against the wishes of his own party leaders, who pushed for a longer-term increase of the debt limit.
Asked Friday about the 90 House Republicans who opposed the bill, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders pointed out most Republicans voted for it.
“The most important thing is that the deal got done,” Huckabee Sanders said. “The president acted on it and he worked with Democrats to get it done. And I think he’s going to continue to work with whoever is interested in moving the ball forward to help the American people.”