Cantor: No Disaster Relief For Tornado Victims Without Cuts

I was lucky enough not to be directly impacted by the tornadoes that whipped through the Midwest on Sunday — my neighborhood remained untouched, although the area just across the bridge from me was nearly demolished.  But I’ve seen enough of the stories of clean up and heartbreak in Minnesota and Missouri to know that the affected will need lots of immediate help to get back on their feet.

Unfortunately, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor think that help should be contingent on more cuts to the federal budget.

Roll Call reports:

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Wednesday stood by his calls to offset any supplemental spending directed at the string of natural disasters in the Midwest, despite complaints from some Democrats and Republicans.

“Nobody should underestimate the tragedy here,” the Virginia Republican told Roll Call in a brief interview Wednesday. “Our hearts reach out to these families.”

But he reiterated his statement this week that Congress needs to find a way to offset the costs of a likely supplemental spending bill. Helping the victims of recent flooding and tornados should come before continuing to fund old or outmoded programs, he said.

“Of course when something like this happens, there is an appropriate federal role,” Cantor said. “Surely … we can find the money to meet our priorities.”

The federal government has “the capacity to provide the economic aid and relief [needed] and do so in a fiscally responsible manner,” he added, noting that House Republicans have already identified offsets that could be used to replenish existing disaster relief funds.

The House Republicans have never met an opportunity to cut programs that they don’t like that they didn’t jump on, and never found a victim that they couldn’t use as a hostage for their own personal agendas.

Tornado and flood recovery will be expensive, especially for the victims of the North Minneapolis tornado, which hit an area already economically ravaged before the storm came through.  With many of the 200 houses damaged by winds and debris already in foreclosure, it appears that whatever insurance money is obtained won’t go to repairing buildings, but instead to repaying bankers taking a loss on the properties.  As a result, the city and state may be responsible for a large portion of cleanup and rebuilding, and for all the costs associated.

People are displaced, homes are destroyed, lives have been lost, people without shelter need food, clothes and other essentials, and the Republicans in Congress think that there should be conditions put on what sort of relief these victims receive, even if it means possibly holding up the process of getting financial help out to those who need it?

For a way to directly help the victims of these devastating storms, you can follow these links provided by FEMA.  At least we have a way to help on our own while politicians are busy playing politics.

By United States Congress (http://cantor.house.gov/images/cantorheadshot.JPG) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

125 comments

Yvette S.
Past Member 4 years ago

I say rescind his wages and health care, allow his house to be foreclosed upon, refuse social security for his parents, and medicare for anyone in his family, repossess his auto, stand in line for unemployment and food stamps, and then he can feel like a real American these days.

Danny W.
Danny Wilson5 years ago

Monkeynomics again.........

Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley5 years ago

Cantor is the epitome of a arrogant, selfish, self-satisfied jerk in trying to do something like this. The tornado victims need help, not this kind of cheap ransom tactics to score points in a political game.

Angela R.
Angela R.5 years ago

The American Summer:

Congressional Reform Act of 2011

1. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

2. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12.
The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

8. Term Limits.
12 years only, one of the possible options below...
A. Two Six-year Senate terms
B. Six Two-year House terms
C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms

Scott H.
Scott H.5 years ago

This isn't quite true. Cantor is suggesting that the deficit left in FEMA's savings be filled with money from other programs, not that aid won't be sent until money is cut elsewhere. Funding will still go to the tornado victims. I saw no mention of that in the story.

Mick R.
Mick R.5 years ago

Margarett S - Apparently, you are unaware that the House Republicans have been too busy trying to defund Planned Parenthood and attack women's rights to put forth jobs legislation. In case you don't know, that is their job. They have put forth a budget which continues to give billions in tax relief to many of our nations richest and our most profitable corporations while destroying Medicare and drastically cutting many other programs that protect this nation's most vunerable. I'm sure you just haven't heard any of this yet. Your statement that President Obama ignored other floods and disasters is totally inaccurate but I'm sure you are not aware of that either. Just as an aside, I'd rather put forth a poor kid from the slums as a victim than say, BP, as some people on the other side of the aisle have done. But that's just me.

Wendy Henry
Wendy Henry5 years ago

margaret s - I'm really hoping that your comment was a bad attempt at sarcasm. Are you aware that Republicans just voted for subsidizing (again) oil companies? All the while proclaiming that "fiscal responsibility" is why they must abolish medicare,funding for womans clinics,school lunch programs,head start programs..etc...All the while,receiving "compensation" and the best health care in the country from the tax payers.
Oil and natural gas energy is on the way out.China is kicking our ass in green energy development, yet our government is still kissing oil companies butts - allowing them to bypass safety regulations,environmental regulations and pouring more taxpayers dollars into "exploration".How "fiscally responsible" is that? Be sure to thank the republican party next time you get screwed at the pump to the tune of $4 a gallon and then again when you pay your taxes.....

Mark M.
Mark M.5 years ago

If the Republican'ts stand by this budget ideology, I advise them to buy the very thick skins that will be required to protect them from the slings and arrows of an outraged public, particularly in light of the increasing probability that storms like this will become the norm in a world of global warming--that the Republican'ts of course claim is not an issue. Ergo, for the last two or so decades the fossil-fuel pimps insist that they need do nothing to reduce carbon emissions because highly increased carbon dioxide is not a factor in any global climate change that probably isn't happening and/or probably isn't human-driven. Now they are saying they need not pay for the damage that is being and will continue to be done. I hate to be vindictive, but I'm looking forward to the day when a freak, outsize tornado or some such blows away a naysayer's house. Only when the climate change deniers are personally affected is there a good chance will they get their ideological heads out of their lobbyists' think tanks' corporate patrons' asses and advocate what the nation should already be doing.

Margaret S.
Margaret S.5 years ago

"But he reiterated his statement this week that Congress needs to find a way to offset the costs of a likely supplemental spending bill. Helping the victims of recent flooding and tornados should come before continuing to fund old or outmoded programs, he said."
He is correct. Over the years, many duplicated, unnecessary and costly programs have been identified by various commissions, but nothing is ever done about them. Now that our country is deep in debt, printing useless money, we must get serious about getting rid of useless programs.
"The House Republicans have never met an opportunity to cut programs that they don't like that they didn't jump on, and never found a victim that they couldn't use as a hostage for their own personal agendas"
Such hypocrisy. It's DEMOCRATS who always bring forth some poor soul, who is paraded as a victim of the 'evil' Republicans. You've seen it, over and over, you know you have. Besides, Obama ignored previous floods/tornados, till now, because an election is coming up. Ask yourself why Obama is pledging 20 billion dollars (we don't have) to Egypt and Tunisia for JOBS IN THEIR COUNTRIES??? Obama cares nothing that 24 million are jobless in this country.

Kimberly Bennett
Kimberly Bennett5 years ago

We need to help with our disaster areas not hand everything to the rich. You want to make cuts lets start with all of your wages by 75 precent......then you pay for all of you benefits and some of the state and federal workers need to pay for their own insurances etc also.

WE SHOULD COME FIRST SINCE YOUR STEALING OUR MONEY FROM US AND IT IS WRONG WHEN WE ARE NOT VOTING ON EVERY LAW PLACED THAT EFFECTS OUR LIVES.