Ah, finally we're seeing words about common sacrifice and committment to our national defense, coming from the US Congress:
Rep. Randy Cunningham (news, bio, voting record), a California Republican who also serves on the House Appropriations Committee, told Reuters after the meeting that conservatives fretted about the huge relief costs with "more storms (gathering off the southern coast), the Iraq war and health care" costs that are rapidly escalating for the federal government.
Cunningham said that none of those Republicans suggested scaling back costly tax-cut proposals they have advanced for the past few years. Instead, he said they urged the Bush administration to look at ways to save on Gulf Coast reconstruction by waiving rules requiring union laborers for upcoming federal contracts.
Of course, you may recognize the name if you're an astute newsreader, or you're a fan of TalkingPointsMemo.com--this is the infamous "Duke Cunningham," currently awash in an influence-peddling scandal.
So tax-cuts--that we can afford. But following through on promises to pay reconstruction workers a fair wage...I guess that's not important.
Also in this story is news that an amendment by Rep Obey (D-WI), put forth in the bill to reassign FEMA as an independent agency of Cabinet rank:
Rep. David Obey (news, bio, voting record) of Wisconsin, the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, had a broader goal of restructuring the embattled Federal Emergency Management Agency that is overseeing the response to Hurricane Katrina.
Obey said he would offer an amendment to the emergency spending bill to restore FEMA's status as an independent, Cabinet-level agency and require that its director have substantial experience in disaster relief. In a post-September 11 shake-up, FEMA became part of the new Department of Homeland Security.
"The problem is the agency we are appropriating money to has demonstrated with great clarity that it is spectacularly dysfunctional," Obey said on the House floor.
But his amendment was expected to be blocked by the Republican leadership, which wants to pass the bill quickly, especially with Vice President Richard Cheney touring Mississippi on Thursday.
Anything to help Dick Cheney get back in the game and look effective, I suppose.
So what's the meme?
- GOP Congresspeople are balking at what Katrina relief will cost
- The 800-lb gorilla in the room--the idiocy of sustaining Iraq's costs indefinitely--appears invisible to them
- In order to save the country money, the working class will need to tighten their belts