Skip to main content

NEW YORK - October 31: Homes sit smoldering after Hurricane Sandy in the Far Rockaway area . Over 50 homes were reportedly destroyed in a fire during the storm on October 30; 2012 in New York City; NY
What's left of houses in Far Rockaway, New York, after Sandy.
Get ready for the next big "offsets" fight, all mixed into the pretend deficit hysteria of the fiscal cliff curb fight. President Obama is going to ask Congress for a stripped-down $45 to $55 billion in emergency funding for Hurricane Sandy relief.
Unless an austerity-minded Congress adds to the president’s plan, state leaders would have to figure out other ways to finance tens of billions of dollars of storm-related expenses or do without them. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were seeking a combined $82 billion in federal help both to clean up and restore damage from Hurricane Sandy as well as to upgrade and harden infrastructure to prepare for future storms. [...]

The administration request appears likely to come in even below the $60 billion that Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic majority leader, said on Tuesday that he expected it to include. Yet even a spending request in the neighborhood of $50 billion would strain the current political system in Washington coming just weeks before a series of deep spending cuts and tax increases are set to take effect automatically, unless the president and Congress agree on a plan to avert them.

Republicans are, of course, trying to figure out how to make as big a fight as possible out of this.
Republicans eager to preserve what they see as the high ground on spending in their struggle with Mr. Obama may try to avoid approving all of the storm aid right away. Representative Hal Rogers of Kentucky, the Republican chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, has privately suggested taking up the aid request in two phases: emergency needs during the current lame-duck session and longer-term recovery requests next year.

“It might be difficult to get a large aid package through Congress in a lame duck” session, said a senior Republican committee official, who declined to be identified as speaking for the committee members.

The fact that the states suffering the most damage are all blue states probably has a lot to do with that. Despite the obvious and urgent need for this funding, Republicans will likely hold out as long as possible, and try to negotiate to trade the modest $50 billion included in the Obama fiscal cliff proposal for stimulus for this emergency funding.

Meanwhile, as David Dayen points out, on Tuesday the Senate unanimously passed a defense authorization bill that contains $17 billion more than the Pentagon asked for. They'll go to conference over a House bill that has an addition $3 billion more than the Pentagon asked for. There's $20 billion in unnecessary spending that no one has even sneezed at.

12:03 PM PT: Tell Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor to stop playing politics with disaster relief.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 10:29 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site