As if the ongoing budget talks couldn't get any worse.
Two days ago now the New York Times reported that House Republicans are threatening to withhold funds from the victims of Hurricane Sandy- funds that are vital to the recovery effort in an area still reeling from the hurricane two months ago. According to the NYT:
The White House has requested $60 billion in federal disaster relief to repair the damage caused by Sandy, but Republicans have balked. Rep. Scott Garrett of New Jersey called disaster relief “wasteful spending.” And four other right-wing Republicans told The Hill that they would demand cuts in other programs to offset the expense.
The spending cuts that they are demanding would be from areas unrelated to the relief effort.
Last year Senate Democrats approved $7 billion to refill the federal disaster relief fund, which the Republicans cut in half, and then demanded $1 billion in cuts from a loan program to develop energy-efficient automobiles to help offset the cost of the fund.
The victims of Sandy should be outraged that their community's future is being toyed with in party politics. It is one thing to withhold spending for a new program or initiative, but it's completely different to withhold funds to recover from a disaster. Whatever happened to decency, common sense, and putting Americans before party politics? A few years ago, members of both the Senate and the House would have considered something like this to be the highway to hell. Now, they're all over it.