By a 419-3 vote, the House of Representatives passed an initial $7.9 billion aid package to help victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana.
The bill is now on its way to the Senate — where some have said an increase to the nation’s debt ceiling could be tacked on — before it reaches President Donald Trump’s desk for final approval.
“This is a chance to be your brother’s keeper,” Rep. Al Green (D-TX) said. “This is a chance for the unity that we express when we’re before the cameras to manifest itself in the votes that we cast here in Congress.”
CHASER: Not yours to give…Davey Crockett
One day in the House of Representatives a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support. The speaker was just about to put the question when Crockett arose:
“Mr. Speaker–I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living, if there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has not the power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member on this floor knows it.
We have the right as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I ever heard that the government was in arrears to him.
“Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please.
Read the whole story here. There was a time in this country when this particular piece of historical literature was widely read by students in most public and private schools. Nowadays, it is usually only studied by home-schooled students. After all, we couldn’t allow too many people in this country to actually start believing in the ideals expressed by Crockett– that would spoil everything! (the march to socialism and TV coupons)