The ploy is simple; Republicans can get away with anything as long as they control the narrative. And it’s a plan that seems to be working wonders in a media that rarely disputes the GOP line. So FEMA can’t keep up with the recent rash of tornado’s, earthquakes and hurricanes because of austere tea party budget cuts; no problem, blame Obama.
According to Crooks & Liars: The Washington Post reported that disaster relief will have to be pulled from the Midwest to handle the East Coast hurricane problems. The Republican Chair of the House Appropriations Committee blames the need for moving funding around from Joplin and the Midwest to the east cost on the President's cuts in FEMA.
Blame the president for the cuts to FEMA?
The House Appropriations Committee details some of the $38B cuts in this PDF including; "reduces FEMA first responder grants by $786 million, eliminates $264 million in funding that was previously targeted to earmarks, and rescinds $557 million in unobligated and lapsed balances from prior year funds."pp
These were cuts approved by Chairman Rogers own committee that he's blaming on the President. According to Chairman Rogers's own Committee Summary of the bill the CR also reports: "The National Weather Service, of course, is part of NOAA -- its funding drops by $126 million. The CR also reduces funding for FEMA management by $24.3 million off of the FY2010 budget, and reduces that appropriation by $783.3 million for FEMA state and local programs."
In that same WaPo piece tea party Republican Rep. Eric Cantor says that they will get the money needed for FEMA from other places. I guess he means the needs for the east cost are going to come from Joplin. Cantor was also caught with his tea party cuts around his knees earlier this week when the Virginia earthquake hit it was also discovered that Cantor was holding disaster aid for earthquakes hostage unless there were other spending cuts.