House Republicans Threaten To Hold Emergency Hurricane Relief Money Hostage

The latest, and perhaps greatest, example of House Republicans sacrificing the public good to right-wing ideology.

The latest effort by House Republicans to force further spending cuts is at the expense of those that are being, or will be, effected by Hurricane Irene. Meteorologists have predicted that Irene have wreak historic havoc along the eastern seaboard, and there has already been massive damage and multiple deaths reported. That aside, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is requiring that any appropriations for emergency relief funds be balanced by spending cuts somewhere else in the House budget. Cantor insisted in a press conference after the 5.8 earthquake in his home state of Virginia that, "any potential emergency disaster aid be offset by spending cuts," according to a recent report by CBSNews. This will also include emergency relief money for areas his by Hurricane Irene.

Should the government need to secure spending cuts before emergency aid monies can be distributed to devastated areas, the delay could cause massive shortages and greater suffering by people in these regions. Democratic representative Cedric Richmond of Louisiana said in response, "It is sinful to require us to cut somewhere ... in order to provide emergency disaster assistance for American citizens." Louisiana, a state that is no stranger to the devastation wrought by hurricanes, has been the recipient of billions of federal dollars after the 2005 destruction of Hurricane Katrina. Richmond said the recovery effort would have been "delayed by years" had the government needed to cut spending in order to appropriate those funds, making an already terrible situation much worse.

Traditionally, a bipartisan effort in government rushes through appropriations of federal aid to devastated regions; the delivery of which was part of the rationale for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA. With Cantor's announcement that Republican House leaders would look for "offsets", or spending cuts, this is a break from the established method of securing domestic aid dollars.The Huffington Post attempted to press both Cantor and House Speaker John Boehner's representatives on where these offsets would be cut, and how long it may delay emergency relief, both offices declined to comment. However, due to a record number of natural disasters, FEMA is running relief programs in every state of the union; efforts which have depleted the agencies funds. President Obama may be forced to request special emergency relief funds through congressional appropriations, which will now be subject to spending cut offsets.

It's unclear exactly how this move is going to work, and how House Republicans think this is going to help Americans or the national reputation of their party. These same Republican leaders held the debt ceiling (and a potential credit downgrade for the country) hostage to force spending cuts, and now seem to be willing to hold victims of natural disasters hostage for the same purpose, even in their home states. There is a degree to which people will no longer stomach campaign-type right-wing rhetoric over practical questions of livlihood and even survival. Should their fiscal radicalism delay the recovery and rebuilding of Americans' lives in earthquake and hurricane ravaged areas of the country, anti-Obama and government-spending rhetoric might not be enough to save their Republican majority in 2012.

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Comments

sundiego's picture

sundiego

EAT SHIT THUGS & TEABAGGERS YOUR DELUSIONAL AND CAN"T WAIT TO GET YOUR ASS OUT OF OFFICE BUT THIS MAKES ME SMILE FOR ALL SHALL SEE WHAT YOU BASTARDS ARE REALLY LIKE...SCUM OF THE EARTH

 

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guardianoftruth's picture

guardianoftruth

Does it make any sense to you that while the first strike of Hurricane Irene has just been today, that Republicans have already stated that they will withhold releif monies?  No, it doesn't. The simple reason for that is, that you are peering into a crystal ball and forseeing how they might react - when you are leading readers to beleive they've already reacted in this manner. Why do the left have the need to lie and spread fear about such things? Do you really perceive your readers unable to think for themselves? When the Republicans actually do hold releif funds hostage for hurricane victims, then you'll have a story. For now all you have is a poker face hoping that no one calls your bluff.  Shame on you. You're no better than the right who needs to lie to their viewers to accomplish the same goals of spreading hate and exaserbating the in-fighting

2

No crystal ball needed, they've already said they'll do it if there's an emergency request, something I plainly stated in the story. By your logic, death threats aren't newsworthy unless someone is actually being killed, which would defeat the purpose of "news" in the first place.

If you're taking issue with the headline, I see the distinction and I'll edit it. That's fair, but it's also meant to grab someone's eye and read the story, not to insult anyone's intelligence. The cleverly worded title of your comment on the other hand....

Thanks for (kinda) reading and the righteous indignation, "guardian".

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ken's picture

ken

 

House Republicans Threaten To Hold Emergency Hurricane Relief Money Hostage

Wake up all you stupid liberals !!!!!

Hello! We are out of money. What about forgein aid, what about green jobs up in the Seattle area $500,000,000 appropriated for winterizing homes something like 200 jobs gained. They are still training people to winterize homes while the trainees still have no jobs to do.

The point is nobody is  

House Republicans Threaten To Hold Emergency Hurricane Relief Money Hostage

We need to quit spending money we don't have and quit politicizing everything.

 

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Lane Free's picture

Lane Free

House Republicans Cut your salary completely return all monies you have acquired over the years via pension. Eliminate your staff, and sell your home and personal property and send all proceeds to the American government budget office. Have all the Republican members do the same and millions if not billions of dollars will be freed up for the citizen tax payers of the USA. Now that is budget cutting!!!!!

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