WASHINGTON — Three people were killed Thursday evening when a wave of severe weather in Texas produced a massive tornado that devastated the city of Perryton in the Texas Panhandle.
Earlier that same day, Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) mentioned to his colleagues on the Senate Aging Committee that the federal government needs to be better prepared to deal with both natural and man-made disasters.
The committee hearing had experts testify on how the government can better be prepared to help those with disabilities get to safety in the event of disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, or in some cases toxic disasters like the East Palestine train derailment. But, Braun said that a swift response to help those with disabilities requires money.
Braun referenced the swath of tornadoes that hit Indiana earlier this year.
“Older adults and people with disabilities were particularly vulnerable in the aftermath,” Braun said. “We must do more to plan ahead before disaster strikes.”
For starters, Braun connected disaster preparation to his push to reign in government spending.
“Generally, (disaster preparation) is going to have to be housed within a system that doesn’t take us deeper into debt that would actually do a big rainy day emergency fund here and quit borrowing money from future generations for the things that we do,” said Braun.
Jonathan Bydlak, Director of the Governance Program with R Street Institute, says the US Government spent roughly $5 trillion on the COVID pandemic which he said was “unexpected” spending before it happened. He agreed that having emergency funds available put individual states, like Indiana, in a strong position to deal with the pandemic.
Bydlak estimates that north of $15 trillion in unexpected spending is a big reason why the national debt has increased significantly. Braun said that having money at the ready instead of borrowing it for natural disasters will help solve the country’s debt issues.
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