Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) on Tuesday explained why he he intends to vote against a larger Hurricane Sandy relief package that will be taken up by the House of Representatives, arguing that the debt was "much, much smaller" when disaster aid was provided by the federal government in the past.
Appearing on CNN's "Starting Point," Mulvaney said he believes that providing disaster relief is "a proper and appropriate function of the government," but his qualms with the Sandy relief bill stem from its lack of spending offsets. Mulvaney was one of 67 members, all Republicans, who voted against the initial $9.7 billion Sandy aid legislation that passed the House on Jan. 4.
"My difficulty with it is simply that it is not paid for," Mulvaney told host Soledad O'Brien.
When O'Brien rattled off a list of previous relief packages passed by Congress that did not include offsets, Mulvaney said times have changed —although he conceded that residents and leaders from the Northeast have a "fair point" in their charges of hypocrisy.
"In 1989, and even as late as [Hurricane] Katrina several years ago, the debt was much, much smaller," Mulvaney said.
He continued, "We simply cannot continue to do what we've done in the past. That's how we arrived where we are."
Watch the exchange: