Congressman Keith Rothfus (R-PA12) is proposing a disaster spending bill to examine how much money the federal government spends on disaster assistance, and his Republican primary election opponent Larry Stiles is accusing Rothfus of being willing to let storm victims “drown on a matter of principal.”
The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat’s Dave Sutor wrote that Rothfus’ legislation, the Disaster Assistance Transparency and Accountability Act of 2013, “calls for examining how much money the federal government has annually spent on disaster assistance from 2002-13 in order to help better plan for future expenses.”
Earlier this year, Rothfus voted against emergency funding for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, saying that charity should do the heavy lifting instead of the government.
Rothfus told the Trib-Dem that his new legislation is “a good government bill and it allows us to get a good accounting of where hard-working taxpayers money is spent.”
Coincidentally, challenger Stiles sent an email out to his supporters today reflecting on his recent trip to Ocean City Maryland and the impact of Super Storm Sandy.
Here’s Stiles’ letter:
This past weekend was spent in Ocean City Maryland where I reunited with my classmates from Northwestern Senior High School.
As we approach the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, it got me thinking about our current representative’s voting record for disaster relief. I know I’ve pointed out his poor choice in voting against tornado relief for those in Oklahoma but the reunion weekend brought to mind Rothfus’ decision to vote against assistance for those affected by the Superstorm.
Imagine if the majority of the House voted along with Rothfus?! No more boardwalks and their small business owners and no more memories of the beach for the next generation. Even worse, what if our District was hit with floods similar to those of 1889 and 1977 and the likes of Rothfus’ was in the majority? Sorry Johnstown, Rothfus would let you drown on a matter of principal.
It’s one thing to be a principled agent against big government but to take a stand during the aftermath of a major disaster is just deplorable. But is this really a surprise coming form the man who gambled with the benefits of seniors and veterans during the latest shutdown? It shouldn’t be.
The winner of the Rothfus-Stiles primary will go on to face the winner of the McClelland-Hugya Democratic primary election.