In the summer of 2004, after Tropical Storm Gaston slammed into Richmond, (Republican Eric) Cantor was on the front lines of efforts to secure millions of dollars in federal assistance to clean the wreckage and repair damaged infrastructure. Although the funding was not offset, Cantor cheered its arrival.
“The magnitude of the damage suffered by the Richmond area is beyond what the Commonwealth can handle,” Cantor said in a news release at the time, “and that is why I asked the president to make federal funds available for the citizens affected by Gaston.”
That episode is raising eyebrows this week, after Cantor told Fox News that disaster aid in the wake of Hurricane Irene should not be funded with borrowed money. Instead, Cantor said Monday, all federal assistance should be offset by cuts elsewhere in the budget.
“Yes, we are going to find the money. We are just going to have to make sure there are savings elsewhere to continue to do so,” Cantor told Fox. “Just like any family would operate when it’s struck with disaster, it finds the money to take care of a sick loved one or what have you, and then goes without trying to buy a new car or [putting] an addition onto the house.”
Cantor is in an awkward position when it comes to disaster aid. Twice in the last week his district was struck by natural disasters — once by the hurricane and once by an earthquake — and his state’s Republican governor has said deficit concerns should not be a factor in the response to the disaster.
Yet Cantor is also the leader of a House GOP Conference focused on reducing government spending, and disaster relief that is not offset with other spending cuts threatens to eat away at the savings Republicans have carved from the budget.
This has left Cantor straddling between his national role as a popular Tea Party conservative — focused on spending cuts and balanced budgets — and his less-publicized duties as a representative of Virginia.
I think they meant “dicky.” As in “dickshit fucker.”