Republicans who are oppose disaster relief for their own constituents

Campaign for America’s Future:

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 9:13 AM

Senate will vote on bill to fund disaster relief and keep government open today, without agreement with GOP. W. Post: “The Senate bill includes dollars for disaster relief without an offsetting spending cut elsewhere that the House GOP demands … members of Congress who appeared on Sunday talk shows gave little sign that they would move quickly from their parties’ positions on disaster relief.”

President calls out GOPers on disaster relief. The Hill quotes: “What makes it worse is that some of the Republicans who are opposing this disaster relief it’s their constituents who’ve been hit harder than anyone by these natural disasters.”

Flood victims incredulous: “‘Members of Congress are playing with people’s lives, not just their own political careers,’ said Martin J. Bonifanti, chief of the Lake Winola volunteer fire company. ‘While they are rattling on among themselves down there in Washington, people are suffering.’ Mr. Bonifanti said his politics were simple: ‘If they are in, they should be out.'”

TNR’s Norm Ornstein makes clear who is to blame for the standoff: “Congress’s policy towards disaster relief has always been that money is allocated in the budget, and if more is required because there are more or deeper disasters, Congress provides it in supplemental funding. The roots of this showdown go back to Cantor announcing on August 25, while Hurricane Irene wreaked havoc, that he would break precedent and demand offsets for recovery expenditures. Cantor and his House Republicans then wrote their continuing resolution for this year’s appropriations to take money from popular research programs to pay for the disaster relief, and insisted that the Senate accept their plan … government by hostage-taking and blackmail has become standard operating procedure for congressional Republicans.”

Record year for disasters. Stateline: “…Obama had issued 83 federal disaster declarations at the request of governors. That is more declarations than in any year since the score was first kept six decades ago. And there are still three months left in 2011 … Suburban sprawl is pushing people into more places, increasing the likelihood that storms will hit populated areas. A larger share of the population now lives closer to the coasts than a generation ago, increasing the damage when a hurricane comes ashore. Global warming may even play a role.”

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