Never fear, earthquake-rattled citizens of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s home state: The federal government is coming to help you. If Cantor can find the cuts, that is.
Months after he took heat from fellow Republicans for his contention that the victims of the massive tornado in Joplin, MO should get federal aid only if Democrats in Washington agreed to cut the budget to pay for the relief spending, Cantor delivered a similar message to Virginians still cleaning up from a historic earthquake — and hunkering down in advance of a massive hurricane.
“The federal government does have a role in situations like this. When there’s a disaster there’s an appropriate federal role and we will find the monies,” Cantor told reporters in Mineral, VA, the epicenter of the quake, Wednesday. “But we’ve had discussions about these things before and those monies will be offset with appropriate savings or cost-cutting elsewhere in order to meet the priority of the federal government’s role in a situation like this.”
Mineral took some damage in the quake which, despite being felt along much of the East Coast, produced no fatalities. In Washington, DC, national sites like the Washington Monument and the National Cathedral suffered damage significant enough to close them.
Cantor’s suggestion that paying for repairs at the Washington Monument should be used as a bargaining chip for spending cuts could be another optics problem for the Virginia GOPer, who had to face down Missouri Republicans after his Joplin comments. As of Wednesday he didn’t look like backing down, however. Speaking at Culpeper, VA, Roll Call reported him as holding the line and saying, “”All of us know that the federal government is busy spending money it doesn’t have.”
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