Cassi Creek: A funny thing happened on the way to disaster relief.
Republicans Have a Habit of Blocking Disaster Relief for Americans
Congress has habitually underfunded relief agencies such as FEMA. Since their very wealthy owners have insurance agents waiting in line to provide necessary services after a natural disaster, Representatives and Senators are not at all in a hurry to provide disaster relief funding to people who can’t make large contributions to campaign funds.
The GOP base, that is that portion of it no staring at a pile of rubble that used to be a home and belongings, likes it when their particular elected official demands that any help to the former middle class and working poor be taken from funds already allocated for education, health care, and other social safety nets that the base has been led to believe would otherwise be spent upon Romney’s 47% who will not vote Republican. In essence, the populace most in need of emergency relief funding is the safest part of the populace to ignore. We’ve seen this repeatedly in the last decade as hurricanes and tornadoes demonstrated their immense power to devastate human habitat. Recently, the GOP, drunk on their denial of every imaginable bill proposed, has found it increasingly easy to deny disaster relief to millions of Americans who have lost their homes, their incomes, and their possessions at a time when they have less and less ability to replace those things without the help of government.
Congress chose to waste time so that many of the survivors of Hurricane Sandy had no homes, no power, and no civic services over the period of a hard and cold winter. Texas, Oklahoma, and other GOP dominated states blocked every attempt to increase funding. When disaster sites dropped out of press coverage, they were all too often removed from the public’s mind as well.
In the last two weeks, Texas, Oklahoma, and other states have been hit by tornadoes. The Governor of Texas and the Senators from Oklahoma have insisted that their states want no relief funding unless it comes from cuts to already allocated moneys. They’ve made their public stand. I wonder if they will refuse emergency appropriation money or if they will vote against such funding. While these are both red states, many people are going to find that the GOP doesn’t really care for the base. After all, it can’t write big checks to help someone be re-elected.
It may be that a funny thing happens on the way to Congress. Perhaps the elected officials will be taken down by their own dogma. Truly a comedy tonight.