Congressman Mark Sanford
September 30, 2017 View Online
Weekly Review
 
September 23


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Offshore Drilling Amendment: Under the category of catching up, I thought you might appreciate the video above. Congressman Frank LoBiondo asked me to carry his offshore drilling amendment on the floor, and this video has coverage of the debate that ensued….


September 25



The Debt Fixer:
What’s been interesting in my different public visits over the past week is the degree to which people get very spirited about what they believe should happen next in funding healthcare, the wall, the military, or roads and bridges in our state. It seems as though there are many opinions but no solidarity on exactly what should come next.

What’s more dangerous in the equation are the number of misconceptions that people have in what it would take to balance the budget. For instance, many people say if we just wiped out foreign aid, we would be well on our way to balancing the budget. Unfortunately, it’ll take a lot more than that, but it’s certainly a perception.

So, here’s an idea, if you have the time. The Committee For a Responsible Federal Budget has put together an interesting computer tool called the “Debt Fixer,” and it allows you to manage the federal budget and find ways to moving us toward balance. In fact, the goal of their exercise is to cut $4.3 trillion from the federal budget within a decade…to bring down the debt to 70% of Gross Domestic Product by 2027, which would put us at a much more sustainable rate of spending.

Give it a try, and I’d love your thoughts….


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September 26

The Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act: Last night, I voted against H.R. 3823, the Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2017. I was one of seven Republicans who voted no, and given it was brought up under what’s called “suspension” - which requires a two-thirds majority for passage, the bill failed.

This simply means that it will be brought back up under normal procedure, and inevitably, most of what the bill was comprised of will pass.

I have voted for some portions of what was contained in the package of bills that this bill represented. For instance, if there had been simply a straight up or down vote to extend the Federal Aviation Administration’s authorization until March, I would have voted for it. This was not the case though, as disaster relief was added to a simple airway extension bill that would have easily passed.

Stopping and slowing the process I thought essential for the following reasons... Click here to read more...


September 27


Tax Reform Summit: It’s very rare that Congress will leave the Hill when in session. But we did that today, as we loaded up in buses at 8:30 am and went to the National Defense University for a summit on tax reform that lasted until 2:00 pm.

It’s an indicator of how important this issue is and the degree to which the House, Senate, and White House have driven a stake in the ground on moving this issue this fall.

We had a lot of Member discussion and a lot of back and forth about the conceptual plan that was rolled out by Congress and then spoken on by the president this afternoon. From this starting point, I’m sure that I’ll have a lot of conversations with you on what you like or don’t like in what’s proposed.

Make no mistake, this will be a huge debate.

Healthcare affects about one-fifth of the economy, the tax code affects 100% of the economy...and our economy disproportionately affects the world economy at large. Given the magnitude of what’s in play here, it will be very important that I get your feedback throughout this process.

At the concept level, there are a couple of major principles at play…. Click here to read more...


September 28


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Rep. Scalise Returns to The House: 
There is a lot of serious debate that takes place on the floor of the House but surprisingly few strong emotional moments. That was not the case today, as I suspect I joined more than a few colleagues in being tearful in watching and being a part of Congressman Steve Scalise’s return to the House floor.

For that reason, I would ask that you watch this video of his speech to Congress.

The chamber was filled, and even members of the Senate had come over to be a part of his reunion.

We live at a time wherein people are appropriately skeptical of the political process and anyone in politics, yet what I saw and heard today was a reminder of how none of us should give up on the process that our Founding Fathers created. It’s frustrating, it’s slow, it’s certainly broken in part...but the institution itself and the idea of representative government is a sacred tradition that all of us must fight to uphold.

Please do look at the video. I found his words inspiring.


September 29

The Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act (Again):
Sometimes, an occasional “I told you so” makes sense…. Such is the case with the Federal Aviation Administration/disaster tax relief bill that came up on Monday….

I voted against it and, at that time, said it was sure to come back up. Indeed, it did here just two days later, as we voted on it yesterday.

The bill unfortunately got worse.

The discrimination in the way that it pitted some storm victims against others was made worse, as the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico were added for extended tax benefits, while a host of other states were still left out.

At some point, we need to go beyond reacting to the latest emergency and think about the ways in which we treat storms, wildfires, and other natural disasters - so that we treat people with the same level of damage to their house...the same. We also need to move away from treating storms and tornados and wildfires as complete emergencies. Doing so means that they are treated differently than other spending, and this ballons our nation's debt and accompanying deficits. They are not surprises. We know for certain that in a country as big as ours we will be hit with some number of storms, tornadoes, and floods. We don't know when or where exactly, but we know they are coming.

On the category of equal treatment, I want you to stop and think about that for a moment. I don’t know of a person that doesn’t feel for the people of Puerto Rico; it’s become none other than a humanitarian crisis. But these sort of crisis events are not the events that fit with tax relief that may come a year or six months down the road. Immediate aid is needed in Puerto Rico and will be given, but the availability of tax credits in the rebuilding process is something that ought to be available to all Americans as they rebuild from flood or storm damage.

In any case, I voted against this bill again. This time, it passed, but what I’m told is that the flood insurance provisions that I was concerned about (given its impact on the debt and deficit) will be stripped out in the Senate, and it’s the FAA portion that will move forward, as it indeed comes back from the Senate.

     

 
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