House Democrats took to the floor on Wednesday, characterizing a provision for disaster-relief in the GOP's short-term spending measure as “stingy” and a “disgrace.”
Democrats oppose the provision for $3.7 billion in disaster relief because Republicans have offset the funds by cutting from a fuel-efficiency program, the Department of Energy’s Advanced Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program. Democrats say they won't support the bill because the cuts will hurt job creation.
In a floor speech, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) deemed the Republican’s FEMA bill “frugal and cheap.” Criticizing the bill for its offsets from the DOE program, Ellison said the bill “is the most stingy, short-sighted, poorest form of representative government I've ever seen. It is outrageous to tell Americans facing disaster that you don't get any help unless you can find how to squeeze it out somewhere.”
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) spoke about his own district’s need for disaster relief, but noted that his district is one of many looking for the government to help them out. “This is an absolute disgrace, because we’re all Americans, we’re not Democrats or Republicans.”
For more on the House debate on this issue, read the Floor Action Blog.