In one of the first major decisions of his congressional career, Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Allegheny, voted against H.R. 41, a piece of legislation designed to provide $9.7 billion to regions impacted by Superstorm Sandy in October.
The bill passed the House by a vote of 354-67 on Friday before the Senate approved it by unanimous consent.
President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill soon.
The measure will allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to temporarily increase the National Flood Insurance Program’s borrowing limit.
All 67 nays were cast by Republicans. Rothfus was one of 17 freshmen who were sworn in Thursday to vote against the measure. He represents the 12th Congressional District.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those affected by Hurricane Sandy,” Rothfus said. “The affected areas and families need relief. However, I came to Washington to control spending in a sensible manner. The bill passed (on Friday) costs almost $10 billion and adds to the deficit. My concern is that we in Congress should have worked to find a way to pay for this now.”
Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Hollidaysburg, voted in favor of the aid package.