Despite the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene this weekend, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) today stood by his call that no more money be allocated for disaster relief unless it is offset by spending cuts elsewhere. The Washington Post reported this morning that FEMA will need more money than it currently has to deal with the storm’s aftermath and is already diverting funds from other recent disasters to deal with the hurricane, but Cantor’s comments suggest Republicans won’t authorize more funds without a fight.
Cantor took the position following the tornadoes that devastated Joplin, Missouri and elsewhere in the spring and summer, and after last week’s earthquake, the epicenter for which was in his district, but the hurricane’s level of destruction is far beyond that of those disasters. Still, Cantor told Fox News that while “we’re going to find the money,” “we’re just going to need to make sure that there are savings elsewhere to do so.”
Cantor referred a bill the Republican-controlled House passed that approves $1 billion in disaster relief, which was financed by a $1.5 billion cut from loan program to encourage the production of fuel-efficient vehicles. But the need in the wake of the hurricane will likelygreatly surpass $1 billion, and that spending package was supposed to be used for tornado recovery efforts, for which several hundred million dollars has already been outlayed.
- Cantor: No hurricane emergency funding without other cuts (dailykos.com)
- Hurricane Irene relief funding sets up budget fight – CBS News (news.google.com)
- Jonathan Richards: Lunch Money (huffingtonpost.com)
- Eric Cantor: Federal Hurricane Disaster Relief Would Have To Be Offset By Spending Cuts (businessinsider.com)
- FEMA Almost Out Of Money Due To Multiple Disasters, While Cantor Plays Politics With Disaster Funds (crooksandliars.com)
- Eric Cantor: Hurricane Relief Spending Means Cuts Need To Happen Elsewhere (mediaite.com)
- Eric Cantor: No Federal Relief For Earthquake Or Hurricane Damage Unless It’s Offset By Spending Cuts (outsidethebeltway.com)