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Posted at 11:40 AM ET, 08/30/2011

Cantor’s disaster-relief salvo

Rep. Eric Cantor is taking a bit of heat for saying that any federal monies spent on disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Irene should be offset by cuts elsewhere in the budget.

But consider the quotes in Anita Kumar’s post, both from Rep. Cantor and from the group criticizing him, Virginia Organizing. First up, the hard-nosed Mr. Cantor:

“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 said. “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.”

Which earned this retort from Virginia Organizing:

“We have truly reached a new low in American politics if Rep. Cantor is willing to use disaster relief as a political bargaining chip,’’ said Jay Johnson, a board member of Virginia Organizing. “Disaster relief is a necessary function of government and not something to be bartered with. …We are the richest nation in the world and should be able to respond to disasters with more dignity than someone bartering for a couch on Craigslist.”

Each side plays to type, but at bottom, both assume that the federal government has a role in disaster relief.

But does it?

[Continue reading Norman Leahy’s post at The Score.]

Norman Leahy blogs at The Score. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Norman Leahy  |  11:40 AM ET, 08/30/2011

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