That stance, as you might expect, is not universal among Republicans.
Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), a member of the Appropriations Committee, showed The Huffington Post photos of her district under 12 feet of water as a result of flooding from the storms. She said an emergency aid package shouldn't need to be paid for with spending cuts but said she has "no doubt" that some of her colleagues on the committee will push for offsets. She guessed that none of them will come from disaster-prone areas.What is the matter with these people? We spend billions fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. We give one tax cut after another to the rich and to so-called job providers who never seem to provide any jobs, but we don't have enough money to fund Social Security, Medicare, and to help alleviate the suffering of communities like Joplin that have been hit by unspeakable tragedies?
"It makes me sad" that some Republicans are insisting on offsets for natural disaster of this scale, Emerson said. And in the case of Cantor, "I was disappointed. I need to take him to my district."
Still, she said she is hopeful that some committee Republicans will side with her in not pushing for offsets, particularly some of the newer members who hail from districts hurt by the storms. People have a change of heart on spending "all of a sudden when it becomes personal," she said. "My own constituents would be horrified if I didn't do everything I could" to get aid.
Democratic lawmakers from districts hit by the storms say it is bad form for Republicans to even be talking about the need to pay for an emergency package of this nature.
"Where is his heart?" Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) said of Cantor. "Where is his compassion for people who are suffering today?"
"If they want to fight and quibble over the supplemental, I mean, they are heartless. What's wrong with them?" Clay said. "Nothing for the average American community. That's what they're saying: we don't have anything for the average American community."
Helping the weak and suffering should always be a priority of government. Shame on those who would hold it hostage to push their ideology and appeal to those who are bankrolling their campaigns.