America has experienced an alarming amount of disasters this past year, including a possible Perry or Bachmann presidency. We have seen 10 different natural disasters with economic losses totaling $1 billion or more – the most ever in a year, Reuters reported on Thursday. Peoples homes and lives have been totally uprooted by these devastating storms, and they’re looking for a little government assistance from the elected representatives sworn to represent their interests. But this doesn’t seem to faze their Republican representatives one bit. And you thought they liked making Obama’s life miserable?
Leading Republican Senators forcefully blocked Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid’s proposed Disaster Relief bill, which included $7 billion, some of which was intended to go to the very states the Senators represent. That’s like somebody smashing into your car and you refusing to accept compensation for repairs from the responsible party. But logic and reason are about as necessary in today’s Republican Party as an umbrella is in Texas.
One by one, GOP senators representing states that suffered disaster damage–including North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, Texas Sen. John Cornyn, Alabama Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions, and Mississippi Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker–swiftly dashed the hopes of their constituents by voting against the relief package.
Justification for their bizarre actions was inextricably ripped from the pages of prickish little elf, Eric Cantor, who refused to aid victims of Hurricane Irene until cuts were made elsewhere.
– SEN. RAND PAUL (KY): “I plan to insist my fellow senators take a long, hard look at where the funding comes from,” Paul said yesterday before the vote. “Will it be more borrowing on the backs of our children and grandchildren, or will it be from the coffers of our numerous nation-building programs overseas? America’s priorities should come first.”
– SEN. JOHN THUNE (SD): “These are different times. We have got to figure out how to pay for these things,” Thune told reporters last week.
– SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (AL): As ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, Sessions “believes the Senate should not provide the spending before getting expert advice on the precise need.” “We haven’t carefully examined every penny of it,” he added. Noting that he represents “a state that has suffered” from tornado damage, he still asked “how much more do we need” in aid?
Of course these Senators had absolutely no problem throwing $50 billion to aid
their private defense contractor sugar daddies the rebuilding of Iraq. Maybe we should all move to Iraq or Afghanistan, or the next Middle Eastern country the neocons decide to invade to make casual Fridays at Halliburton more fun.
Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, the only Republican in Congress who seems to have a fully functional cerebral cortex, appeared to take note of that fact. Along with Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-MN), Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), Sen. Collins joined the very tiny and barely audible table of rational Republicans and voted in favor of the disaster relief bill. Maybe the Mayans will be right about 2012. Republicans surely seem hell-bent on facilitating their dire 2012 prediction. Right about now, Afghanistan and Iraq don’t seem all that bad.