Roy Blunt's disastrous response to disasters
The Kansas City Star
Poor Roy Blunt. The Republican U.S. senator from Missouri looks like a hypocrite for voting against federal assistance for victims of Superstorm Sandy.
The Star’s story includes Blunt’s “defense,” that the normal budgeting process wasn’t followed in the case of Sandy, explaining why Blunt was more prone to support U.S. assistance for victims of the 2011 Joplin tornado.
In reality, of course, the Joplin twister struck the state of Missouri - which Blunt represents - which more accurately tells people why he was all for getting U.S. taxpayers to chip in a couple of years ago.
As he said at the time: “When the disaster exceeds the ability of communities and states, the federal government has a responsibility to help people rebuild.”
Now Blunt is saying something similar, but playing along with the conservative Republican thought process that disaster assistance has to be “offset” with spending reductions.
If that idea really made much sense, the U.S. Congress would have been doing that after every disaster. The members don’t do that, partly because they have a long history of trying to quickly respond to disasters. Also, Congress doesn’t have a very responsible budgeting process anyway, so disasters never seem to be budgeted for, even though they occur every year.
In this case, Blunt and other GOP members who voted against help for Sandy’s victims want to look like the good guys and gals on the budget. Gosh, we’d be glad to be of assistance, but we just don’t have the money.
Blunt, though, made sure Congress found the money in 2011 when one of Missouri’s towns was leveled by a tornado. It’s a shame - but at least understandable for cheap political reasons - that Blunt couldn’t have the same attitude about the victims of Sandy in 2013.