SC Rep. Mark Sanford talks government shutdown, immigration and offshore drilling
It's a very different scene on Capitol Hill than it was just 12 hours ago. Lawmakers ended a five-hour government shutdown early this morning with another short-term funding deal. A deal that did not sit well with South Carolina congressman Mark Sanford. ABC News 4 spoke with him Friday.
Congressman Sanford said it was a sleepless night as lawmakers tried to come to terms with a pending government shutdown.
After the deal had been reached, Sanford tweeted this:
The bi-partisan deal increases defense and non-defense spending by approximately $300 billion dollars. It also increases the nation's overall debt limit. One of the most worrying elements of the deal, says Sanford, was the end to sequester caps. These caps were put in place roughly seven years ago to lower the federal deficit.
”One of the things that should worry all of us about this budget deal is this ended the caps which is the only piece of financial restraint that existing in Washington, DC, arguably it simply opened the floodgates and there will be a lot more spending to follow it which again why the financial markets have been reacting as they have,” Said Congressman Sanford.
It’s been one of the toughest weeks on Wall Street since the financial crisis in 2008. Markets have lost about six percent with fears of rising inflation.
Many lawmakers also had hoped to resolve the question of the Dreamers’ status and recipients of the DACA program. Sanford says he expects immigration to be the next issue facing congress.
The congressman also spoke about his efforts to stop a proposal that would expand offshore drilling off the coast of South Carolina.
Sanford opposes the White House push to open 90 percent of the nation's offshore reserves to private companies. The congressman says there is a lot of talking going on right now at all levels of government regarding the off shore drilling proposal.
Last week Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke made a special trip to South Carolina to meet with Governor McMaster about the issue.
The governor also opposes the plan to open up South Carolina's coastline to off shore drilling. No decisions were announced from that meeting.
Sanford says he's been in touch with the Secretary Zinke, along with other officials. Ultimately he says he'd like to see the power to decide South Carolina's fate back in the hands of local and state officials.
“If this isn't the perfect test case of whether or not we really believe in home rule, I don't know what is because in essence every single municipality up and down the coast of South Carolina has by formal proclamation said we don't want it- not so much for what it does off shore but implications in the way that we develop our own communities on shore,” said Sanford.
There are a dozen states affected by the Trump administration's proposal.
So far, Florida has secured a promise for an exemption from secretary Zinke based partly on tourism.
Congressman Sanford says South Carolina's 20 billion dollar tourism industry should be taken into consideration as much as Florida’s.
On Tuesday, the Congressman said he plans to attend a rally in Columbia on the issue.
That's right before the Bureau of Ocean Management holds South Carolina's only public hearing on offshore drilling.