Eric Cantor Used to Love Him Some FEMA Money:
Oh, hey, look, here's Virginia Republican Congressman Eric Cantor, who thinks that any additional money requested to help people in the wake of Hurricane Irene be matched by more cuts in gutted government programs, in 2007, praising the Federal Emergency Management Agency for giving money to help his district rebuild after a 2006 tropical storm: "I am pleased to see that FEMA has come to the aid of the residents of the City of Richmond. I am committed to continuing to work with Mayor Wilder to assist the victims of Battery Park and residents of the City of Richmond." By the way, that's from a press release from Cantor's office that isn't available on the Majority Leader's website anymore. By the way, those funds came from an emergency supplemental funding act.
Of course, initially, after Ernesto flooded parts of the state, FEMA had denied federal aid to the area, with the agency saying the federal government didn't need to spend money because the storm "didn't overwhelm the state and local capacity to help these people." Virginia officials were outraged that FEMA wouldn't spend money on it. They couldn't just help themselves. Cantor lashed out; he "called FEMA's evaluation subjective and unfair. 'The whole incentive system is just upside down,' he said," according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch on September 30, 2006.
Back in 2004, Cantor was downright proud at his ability to secure funding for his local office of emergency management through FEMA. He got a $400,000 grant to help out with first responders there. Of course, then it was all about protecting from the terrorists, and, in a press release from his office that is no longer available anywhere but Nexis, Cantor crowed, "It is imperative that cities like Richmond have enough funding to ensure first responders can continue to efficiently coordinate preparations in the case of a mass medical emergency. This funding will help sustain and enhance the capabilities of the Richmond Regional MMRS to coordinate resources for an effective regional response to a possible terrorist attack."
And in 2002, as we continue on this little journey, Cantor announced that the Chesterfield, VA, fire department had received over $350,000 from FEMA to improve its emergency response. Isn't that what's referred to these days as "pork"?
Not mentioned in all the times that Cantor got funding for Virginia for disasters and for disaster prep is cutting anything else in the federal budget in order to pay for, say, repairing homes in Richmond or making sure that firefighters had equipment and training. Not then, not even when, in 2004, he was Deputy Majority Whip and the House suspended the rules and passed, on a voice vote, an emergency supplemental appropriations bill for hurricane relief. And in 2003, when one of those adorable emergency supplementals for the wars was passed, it included funding for relief for victims of Hurricane Isabel. From Cantor? Not a word about cutting in other areas.
Now you could argue that during those comparatively flush times of the early Bush administration, when deficits didn't matter, when the GOP pretended there was cash to toss around like a crazed little boy in a candy store on allowance day, Cantor was just doing the right thing for his district while the money was there. But what makes it even more hilarious now that the bespectacled douchebag has his semi-pompadour all a-flutter over offsetting any additional disaster relief funds with budget cuts elsewhere is that, in 2004, he voted against an amendment to do just that. And, of course, in 2007, when he appealed for FEMA funds for his district, the United States was well into recession living.
Apparently, all it takes for one to abandon one's human decency is a Democratic president, a healthy infusion of PAC cash, and the attention of wild-eyed fanatics from the Tea Party. And Cantor sucks those last two teats like a starving piglet.