Republicans block disaster relief bill

Republicans blocked an effort Monday by Senate Democrats to quickly pass a $7 billion aid package for victims of recent natural disasters like Hurricane Irene, tornadoes in the Midwest and the South and floods along the Mississippi, Missouri and other rivers.

On a 53-33 vote, the Senate rejected an attempt by Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to bring up a bill that Democrats had hoped to use to replenish the Federal Emergency Management Agency‘s depleted disaster fund. Democrats needed 60 votes to advance the measure.

Reid said FEMA has spent almost $400 million in the past two weeks on emergency help like food and shelter following Irene and has only about $300 million left.

President Barack Obama on Friday asked Congress for $500 million to make sure the disaster fund doesn’t run out of cash before the end of the month. He also officially asked for $4.6 billion for the upcoming budget year that starts Oct. 1.

Earlier Monday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said Republicans will attach a disaster aid package to must-pass legislation for keeping the government fully running past Sept. 30. That stopgap spending bill is likely to advance next week.

“They’re playing around the edges of what really needs to be done,” Reid complained, saying hundreds of millions of dollars is needed to rebuild places like Joplin, Mo., where a tornado in May destroyed more than 7,000 homes and 10 school buildings and killed 159 people.

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2 Responses to "Republicans block disaster relief bill"

  1. Carl Nemo **==  September 13, 2011 at 9:27 am

    We can’t help our own people, but have hundreds of billions to piss down ratholes in the Middle East on military adventurism along with foreign aid to our enemies.

    When will Americans get the message that they now have a rogue government that’s out to destroy them and to ensure we are absolutely miserable from womb to tomb. We’re both broke and broken as a nation.

    FEMA has a horrible track record for mismanaging their financial assets as demonstrated from the hurricane “Katrina” disaster relative to waste and fraud.

    Seemingly alot of bad things are coming together for the Republic and the world at large in these challenging times.

    This is just the beginning of hurricane season, so what’s to come is anyone’s guess? What if we have a major earthquake along the San Andreas fault or elsewhere with the U.S. as a ‘bonus event’ from Mother Nature? / : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  2. Sandune  September 13, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Carl, not even I would believe the GOP could be so incredibly mean. We had a small shaker this morning near San Simeon. No damage reported but it could a warning that the ground is moving again. I had two kids in school when the last one hit. I threw the keys to the store to a friend and high tailed it up Highway One and onto the Berkeley campus. I had no cell phone but was told J.J. was fine and she had called her sister who was also fine. I drove back to Cambria the same day just in time to get my orders from the Red Cross.

    We must dump the GOP but without a push from Obama, we will not be able to.

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