Newly sworn-in U.S. Rep. Scott Perry stuck to his guns Tuesday night and voted against a measure that could send $50.7 billion of additional relief to areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.
In a statement released on his website, Perry said he voted against the act because it is not offset by reduction in other government spending.
"We all want to help our neighbors impacted by Hurricane Sandy," the Republican said in the statement. "Yet, at a time when we are handing down more than $16 trillion in debt to future generations, isn't it common sense at least to try to find ways to pay for it?"
Earlier this month, Perry voted against a $9.7 billion plan to pay flood insurance claims for victims of the storm, saying the bill was "political posturing" and "doesn't even help the people."
Opposition: Perry was one of 180 lawmakers, nearly all Republicans, to vote against the bill.
"This was not an easy vote to cast. I remain committed to working with my colleagues, regardless of political party, to find real solutions to the issues facing our nation," Perry said. "But the days of passing on ever increasing debt to future generations must come to an end."
According to the statement, Perry supported a bill that "expedited and streamlined Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts and could save hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars."
However, that bill did not pass.
Perry said he also supported amendments to the bill that eventually passed "that would have offset some of the bill's cost with reductions in other government spending, but those efforts were unsuccessful and I opposed the final version.
Efforts to offset government aid with spending cuts is nothing new, Perry said.
"In 2005, a bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives, including 202 Republicans and 106 Democrats, supported $34 billion in offsets to Hurricane Katrina aid, including a 1 percent government-wide spending rescission," Perry said.
Perry did not return a call seeking additional comment.
- Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.