Paying for Supplemental Bill Should Be Easy

The Hill reports that some lawmakers are supporting a supplemental bill to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA) recently introduced a $12 billion supplemental that would mostly go to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and a supplemental has the support of the Senate Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee chair Mary Landrieu (D-LA).

The clean up and restoration after Sandy will clearly take an enormous amount of effort and resources, both from state and local government, the federal government, and the private sector. If or when lawmakers enact supplemental emergency appropriations for recovery and reconstruction efforts, they should also be willing to offset those costs over a reasonable period, as CRFB has said in the past.

Budgeting is all about priorities, and it should not be difficult to find $12 billion that can be found to pay for the emergency supplemental. For example, we compiled a table full of policies that have been endorsed by multiple fiscal plans and by members of both parties. There are plenty of savings options to choose from if lawmakers want to be fiscally responsible.