Eric Cantor, Fake Grinch

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 1 2011 2:28 PM

Eric Cantor, Fake Grinch

The game of the day is Getting the Republican Governor to Decry Cuts-for-Aid. Chris Christie, what say you?

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Our people are suffering now, and they need support now. And they [Congress] can all go down there and get back to work and figure out budget cuts later.
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For the FEMA money that’s going to flow, it’s up to them on how they get it. I don’t think it’s the time to get into that [deficit] debate.

Funny thing here: Neither governor is disagreeing with Eric Cantor's position that post-Irene relief should be paid for, then an equal amount of money should be cut from the budget. The choice is simple: Borrow money to pay for aid and pay it back later, or pass the aid now and attack the budget later.

"The House passed, and Leader Cantor supported, the DHS appropriations bill, which includes additional money to replenish the FEMA disaster fund (which is now low)," explains Brad Dayspring, Cantor's spokesman. "That funding was offset. The Senate has thus far failed to act on that legislation. There has been no additional request made for emergency dollars. If emergency funding is requested, surely the House will respond appropriately at that time. In the interim, we can't respond to an emergency request that doesn't yet exist.  There would be no delay is people getting federal relief."

Is anyone saying "Congress needs to find budget cuts before it funds Irene relief?" No. Maybe Paul Broun will end up saying that, or something. It's not the Republican position. There is just a little Democratic schadenfreude to be had here, as Christie's bellow-about-how-D.C.-works shtick splatters on the GOP, for once.

UPDATE: ThinkProgress pushes back with a crisper version of the question: So, Cantor will vote for a supplemental with no cuts? What about that DHS bill, which is surely going to come out of the Senate in a different form? (The offsets were for Joplin disaster relief.)

"How much would the request be for?" says Dayspring. "What do the Govs say is needed? I can tell you that obviously no one would stand in the way of urgently needed funding, that’s just silly."

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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