[T]ry as it might to control the message, Congress cannot control the weather. A record drought is ensuring that despite its best efforts, Congress will have to do some actual bipartisan, bicameral legislating before it breaks for the August recess. [...]
House leaders grappled with the way forward: Either pass a yearlong extension of the 2008 farm bill with disaster aid attached or pass a stand-alone disaster relief bill. Either route is troublesome politically.
And either way, what was once a week meant to highlight the House GOP’s united stand to extend the entirety of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts will now become a quarrel over how to extend—and how to pay for—disaster aid. Rather than heading harmoniously into the August recess, the vote to dole out tens of millions of dollars in disaster aid is problematic for the GOP and highlights its divisions.
Darn it. It totally sucks when doing the job you were elected to do gets in the way of meaningless, futile, obstructive politicking. It's even worse when that critical issue you're supposed to be dealing with highlights the fact that the majority of your caucus only cares about meaningless, futile, obstructive politicking.
Remember when natural disasters were emergencies and didn't have to be paid for? No one ever talked about cutting funding for first responders in order to pay for disaster relief before this crew took over. Tax cuts, on the other hand? Nope. They never have to be paid for. Saving the nation's food growers? Eh. Food shortages will be good for the riff-raff, anyway.