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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

House Adjourns Without Considering Sandy Relief Aid

Posted by on Wed, Jan 2, 2013 at 7:53 AM

When the big one finally hits the Pacific Northwest, don't expect any federal relief aid—at least not while the Republicans control the House.

The "fiscal cliff" bill wasn't the only major piece of legislation up for consideration last night. The Senate had also passed a $60 billion Sandy relief bill by a 62-32 margin. But the Republican leadership chose to adjourn the House last night without putting it up for a vote. But of course, it's mostly just residents of New Jersey, New York, other Democratic states who are suffering, so you know, fuck 'em.

Funny how that federal relief aid always seems to flow freely when disaster hits a red state. Huh.

 

Comments (18) RSS

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seatackled 1
I guess the consolation is that Pete King is pissed at Boehner, Can't wait to see Christie's reaction.
Posted by seatackled on January 2, 2013 at 8:28 AM · Report this
2
It's not really clear to me why the federal government should be subsidizing disasters in states where one should expect extreme weather.

If you live in the Midwest, prepare for tornadoes.
If you live on the East Coast, prepare for hurricanes.
If you live on the West Coast, prepare for volcanoes and tsunamis.

This is not a federal concern, and it's definitely not in the enumerated powers of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.
Posted by saeculorum on January 2, 2013 at 8:32 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 3
Deep red state Louisiana got screwed on disaster relief after Katrina, and remains screwed.

After Irene, it was largely democrats trying to block disaster relief bills going to many red states on the southeastern shore, and several blue and purple states farther up the coast.

Please prove your last assertion, or admit it is just partisan narrative nonsense. At least admit it is not nearly as black and white as you claim.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on January 2, 2013 at 8:33 AM · Report this
Tracy 4
(Goldy, just wanted to thank you for keeping up with Slog posts over this last week. I know text doesn't show tone, but this is sincere. So thanks for sharing during the holidays *smile*)
Posted by Tracy on January 2, 2013 at 8:35 AM · Report this
Goldy 5
@2 If it's every man for himself, why even bother with this nation thing?
Posted by Goldy on January 2, 2013 at 8:46 AM · Report this
6
@5 I'll ignore the fact that the Constitution is the overriding guideline for how the country works, not your opinion of how it should work.

All states are not equal, and they are not men. It is fundamentally unbalancing for states to subsidize each other for risks associated with states without having to consider the corresponding benefits. Coastal cities exist at least partially because they tend to make excellent harbors. Des Moines does not make a good harbor and partially because of that, it is not a very big city. Oddly enough, it doesn't get many hurricanes. New York should pay for the costs associated with it's harbors because New York gets the benefits of the harbors. Similarly, Iowa should prepare for tornadoes while taking advantage of the great farm land. States certainly have the ability to tax; federal subsidies like this are just a way to offload local taxes onto the federal level.

(Yes, I realize that red states are disproportionately subsidized by the federal government in general. That is also a problem and should be dealt with.)
Posted by saeculorum on January 2, 2013 at 8:54 AM · Report this
7
It's not really clear to me why the federal government should be subsidizing disasters in states where one should expect extreme weather. This is not a federal concern, and it's definitely not in the enumerated powers of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.


Let me see if I can help you out here. From the very first sentence of of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution:

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States."

Posted by scott (the other one) on January 2, 2013 at 9:02 AM · Report this
8
@7: I would not have read "common" and "general" to mean "a few East Coast states only". However, I'm not the person that matters here. So far as I can tell, the Supreme Court disagrees with you. United States v. Butler indicates that the "general welfare" clause can only be used for matters affecting the national welfare, not individual states.
Posted by saeculorum on January 2, 2013 at 9:22 AM · Report this
9
5

if welfare is all this 'nation thing' means to you you should move to Belgium.

you are not exceptional and you do not deserve to live in an exceptional nation.
Posted by gbyu88fd on January 2, 2013 at 9:25 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 10
The ink isn't even dry on the compromise of trying to cut spending and they are whining about a pet project. What a House of Cardisentatives.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on January 2, 2013 at 9:53 AM · Report this
11
THEY MADE THE BUSH TAX CUTS PERMANENT, FOLKS.

Better plan on many many projects not getting funded. Because the money has to come from somewhere.

The middle class hasn't paid this little in taxes in decades.

I am so disgusted with our politicians and our electorate for falling for this most transparent of Republican ploys -- temporary tax cut, which suddenly becomes an "increase" in taxes when it expires.

I am all for progressive ideals. Part of that is PAYING OUR DAMN TAXES.

And stop already with the "payroll tax going up." IT ISN'T GOING UP. It is going back to where it has been FOR DECADES.

Crap. Just... Crap.
Posted by bareboards on January 2, 2013 at 10:15 AM · Report this
wingedkat 12
saeculorum @2, @6, @8

The diversity and cooperative nature of the United States is what has made it so strong this past century. The midwest depends on the shipping, fishing, and industry of the coasts, while the coasts depend on the grain, meat and industry of the midwest. Each area of the nation has an industry or product which contributes to the GDP and benefits the national economy as well as investors, suppliers, and distributors across the nation.

When one area of the country experiences a disaster, the supplies and aid brought in from other areas result in a faster recovery. Getting things up and running as quickly as possible benefits everyone in the economic system, not just those in the afflicted area.
Posted by wingedkat on January 2, 2013 at 10:20 AM · Report this
13
@12: I was going to write pretty much the same thing, but you did a better job than me. What's more, I'd be willing to bet most coastal states bring in a lot more funds than the mass quantities of corn that are coming in from the middle of the country. But I'm a Masshole and freely admit my bias.
Posted by NateMan on January 2, 2013 at 11:03 AM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 14
@2, all your legalese is just blustering camouflage for the basic right-wing attitude: Those people aren't me, so fuck 'em. You don't like other people. We get it. But that doesn't make you good or smart or someone who should be listened to. All it makes you is an asshole.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on January 2, 2013 at 11:04 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 15
@11: The problem I have with the payroll tax issue is not so much that it is "going up," but because payroll taxes are one of the taxes that hits the poor and middle class hardest, and has little relative effect on the rich.

So once again the poor and middle class are asked to tighten their belts so the wealthy can keep more of their excess money in the bank. That 2% is going to be around at least $500 a year for the lowest class of earners, which can be the difference between paying the rent, or having needed medicines for a month.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on January 2, 2013 at 11:16 AM · Report this
16
@15 I guess in theory everyone now has 'skin in the game' so the conservatives can stop whining now, right?
Posted by CbytheSea on January 2, 2013 at 11:44 AM · Report this
kk in seattle 17
@8: You are completely wrong. Although the Butler court recognized that federal taxes may be spent only for matters of "national" and not "local" welfare, the court refused to address what was meant by "national" and "local":
We are not now required to ascertain the scope of the phrase "general welfare of the United States," or to determine whether an appropriation in aid of agriculture falls within it.

If you're arguing that the effects of Sandy are purely local and not in any sense national, then you're just a whack job. From Wikipedia:
In the United States, Hurricane Sandy affected 24 states, including the entire eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine and west across the Appalachian Mountains to Michigan and Wisconsin, with particularly severe damage in New Jersey and New York.
Posted by kk in seattle on January 2, 2013 at 1:07 PM · Report this
18
@17: I'll accept your analysis as-is, because I don't claim to be a Constitutional scholar (although I'm quite happy to provide my own reading of the Constitution, which may or may not be justified).

Last I checked, there are more than 24 states in the United States. In general, I'm suspicious of any attempts at cost-shifting, and fundamentally disaster aid is cost-shifting. People that live in Wyoming are already punished enough by the barrenness of their state to avoid having to subsidize people that prefer to live in civilization.
Posted by saeculorum on January 2, 2013 at 2:53 PM · Report this

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