Liberals have spent the past two weeks asking Congress to write a blank check for federal disaster funding. They’ve concentrated their attacks on House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) for seeking offsets in other areas of the budget to cover the additional aid.
They’ve portrayed Cantor as a callous conservative, suggesting that his stance is extreme and hypocritical. The facts tell another story.
The Wall Street Journal reveals that it’s actually congressional Democrats, not Cantor, standing in the way of additional disaster funding. House Republicans have offered a plan that gives more money to the Federal Emergency Management Agency than President Obama requested. They did this by cutting spending in other areas, such as the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program.
That program is a pet cause of many Democrats, including Vice President Biden. In fact, the Journal explains, it was Biden who personally intervened to convince the CEO of California-based Fisker Automotive to manufacture electric cars in Wilmington, DE.
Wilmington, of course, is Biden’s hometown. And Fisker, it turns out, secured a loan from the Department of Energy for more than half a billion dollars. The Obama administration will surely deny any cronyism, just as it did this week when politically connected solar company Solyndra closed its doors after receiving a $535 billion federal loan.
More from the Journal:
All of this is background to say that the GOP has found the federal program that is arguably the most deserving of a cut to free up funds for disaster victims. But Senate Democrats refuse to pass the House bill and Mr. Cantor has earned their ire this week by continuing to press for cuts in corporate welfare.
Don’t expect this issue to go away, especially in light of the huge increase in FEMA declarations in recent years. As Heritage’s Matt Mayer wrote this week, “Cantor is spot on, and we are thrilled to see someone finally trying to curb FEMA’s growth.”