On Sunday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) reiterated his position that disaster relief funds for the tornado victims in Joplin, Missouri must be paid for with cuts to other programs. "Congress will find the money," Cantor said on CBS' “Face the Nation” "And it will be offset."
"I know that America is just stunned by the scope of devastation and loss and the horrific tragedy that the people of Joplin and other places across the country really are experiencing this tornado season," Cantor said. The federal government typically pays for disaster relief, but Cantor has said repeatedly that the government must maintain fiscal discipline. On Sunday, he compared the situation to that of a family putting off buying a new car when a family member became ill.
"When a family is struck with tragedy -- like the family of Joplin ... let's say if they had $10,000 set aside to do something else with, to buy a new car ... and then they were struck with a sick member of the family or something, and needed to take that money to apply it to that, that's what they would do, because families don't have unlimited money. And, really, neither does the federal government."
Democratic lawmakers from districts hit by the storms have blasted Republicans for talking about the need to pay for an emergency package, HuffPost's Jennifer Bendery reported:
"Where is his heart?" Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) said of Cantor. "Where is his compassion for people who are suffering today?"
"If they want to fight and quibble over the supplemental, I mean, they are heartless. What's wrong with them?" Clay said. "Nothing for the average American community. That's what they're saying: we don't have anything for the average American community."