Shameful: Republicans Block Disaster Relief Funds

Senate Republicans have blocked a vote on allocating $7 million to FEMA for disaster relief, making it clear that they do not respect or value one of the primary functions of government—to help its citizens in a time of great need. Harry Reid, of course, took them down:

"Last night, Democrats tried to move forward on a measure that would have granted the Federal Emergency Management Agency additional funding to help communities devastated by natural disasters," Sen. Reid said in an advisory.

"This ought to be the least political issue going – whether to reach out a helping hand to our friends and neighbors in their time of need," he continued. "They have lost friends and loved ones. Their homes, businesses and livelihoods have been destroyed by acts of god. Their communities are under water or reduced to rubble.

"It’s in our power to help them. But last night Republicans overwhelmingly voted to prevent us from coming to their aid. They prevented us from getting disaster aid to American families and businesses that need it now."

The vote was 53-33, with Republicans uniting against measure that would have brought the aid package to a vote and put a rush on some emergency funds. A 60-vote majority was required to pass it.

The move comes in a worse than usual year, when Obama has had to declare disasters in 48 states since the top of 2011. FEMA funds are running so low, in fact, that they have ceased rebuilding Joplin, Missouri, a town leveled by tornados earlier this summer. Read the full report here.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at September 13, 2011, 7:57am

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