From Washington Monthly:
The scenes out of Joplin, Missouri, are just horrific. The death toll from the deadliest single U.S. twister in generations stands at least 116 people, and rescue workers continue a frantic search for survivors. President Obama will be in the area over the weekend, and obviously the area qualifies for federal disaster relief.
It’s hard to believe, but House Republicans aren’t sure if they’re prepared to spend the money to assist the victims and community.The No. 2 House Republican said that if Congress doles out additional money to assist in the aftermath of natural disasters across the country, the spending may need to be offset.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said “if there is support for a supplemental, it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental.”
Finding ways to offset disaster relief funds could be a significant challenge for House Republicans and would put their promise to cut spending to a true test.
I don’t expect much from House Republicans, but this has managed to actually surprise me. When disaster strikes and there are deadly consequences, federal officials are expected to put aside politics and ideology, and commit whatever’s necessary to help.
I agree with Steve Benen here. How much more full of themselves can Republicans get? And this isn’t even “normally votes Democratic” areas like New Orleans after Katrina. These states that are getting bashed by tornadoes and floods are mostly reliably red or leaning red states, such as Missouri, Alabama, Tennessee, Montana, etc. What the hell is Cantor thinking? Is he so absolutely convinced that the only subject that the American people believe is important is cutting the deficit? He would actually withhold emergency funds to help American citizens in dire straights though no fault of their own? Are people without homes and places to work in Alabama and Missouri now “leeches?”