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McCain will vote against Harvey relief if attached to budget extension bill

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Thursday that he would vote against any monetary aid for Hurricane Harvey victims if it were attached to a bill designed to delay the budget fight.

“Attaching emergency funding for hurricane relief to a must-pass [continuing resolution] and debt limit increase is irresponsible and a dereliction of our most routine duties,” he said on the Senate floor.

President Donald Trump struck a deal with Democratic leaders on Wednesday that would provide $7.9 billion for victims of the huge storm. That money would be attached to a continuing resolution that would raise the debt ceiling and give Congress until the end of the year to hammer out a budget.

McCain questioned why a continuing resolution would be passed with weeks remaining before the federal government runs out of money on Sept. 30.

“How is it that we are voting on a continuing resolution, a mechanism of last resort, before we have even made a single attempt at funding the government? There has been no discussion of a bipartisan budget deal,” he said. “There hasn’t even been a fiscal year 2018 budget resolution. We have not called up a single fiscal year 2018 appropriations bill.

“Quite simply, we have not been doing our jobs.”

McCain followed through with his threat.

McCain argued that a continuing resolution has a direct impact on the military because it cannot address its readiness issues without knowing its budget.

“While the president and this Congress understand that the military does have a need for additional funding to rebuild the military, we are asking them to keep treading water for three months for no reason whatsoever,” he said.

The senator also blamed budget cuts for a lack of training that has begun to produce deadly consequences, such as several recent collisions involving Navy ships.

“Apparently, watching as young men and women die for entirely avoidable reasons is not enough for us to change,” he said.

Another Arizonan in Congress, Rep. Andy Biggs, voted against a Harvey relief bill on Wednesday. He was one of only three nays.

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