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Arizona congressman one of three to vote against Harvey relief bill

(AP Photo/Bob Christie, File)

PHOENIX — An Arizona congressman said Wednesday he voted against aid for Hurricane Harvey victims because it was attached to a different bill he opposed.

Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs said the $7.9 billion for Harvey victims was passed as part of the READ Act, which would make the government bigger and and tie foreign assistance to education programs in some countries.

“I firmly disagree with attaching disaster relief funding to a piece of legislation that needlessly expends taxpayer dollars to support international education,” he said in a statement.

Biggs was one of only three representatives to vote against Harvey relief. He said he was given little time to read the package before voting.

“Congress has a real problem when it takes an important piece of legislation, such as disaster relief, and combines it with another piece of entirely unrelated legislation,” he said. “The House also failed to detail how we will pay for the relief but managed to include an international education program.”

Biggs also voted against his own party’s health care bill in May because he was not given time to read it over.

“I did not get a chance to read those changes, but that was the additional $8 billion in spending that was put in because of the requests of moderates that had bounced off the bill,” Biggs told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos at the time.

The congressman said he promised his constituents during his campaign that he would not vote in support of anything without reading it first.

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