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.