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So, You Survived…

7:00 AM EDT on May 25, 2011

Congratulations. Just by the simple fact that you are reading this, it means you survived the apocalyptic tornadoes last night. Sure, your house may have been distributed throughout neighboring counties, and in the fortunate case that it wasn't, electricity and running water are things of the past for you. Be satisfied that you have your life, hopefully without long lingering injuries. Also, take satisfaction that your suffering will help congressional Republicans.

In a bid to become the poster child for lack of GOP empathy, the House majority leader Eric Cantor used the death and destruction of tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri to frame a new battle over the budget.

"If there is support for a supplemental (spending measure), it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental," said Cantor.

The sentiment is actually not one I disagree with. Balancing the budget should be a priority, one the Republican Party has certainly championed now that the person signing the bills is not one of their own. However, one would think only a movie villain would use a natural disaster that killed more than 100 people as a vehicle to illustrate that dedication...especially on the heels of holding unemployment benefits hostage (during the worst economic crisis since The Great Depression) to assure tax cuts remained in place for those who were suffering the least during the financial meltdown.

On the bright side, Congress did locate an offset to cover the spending on the suddenly homeless victims. Less on the bright side is that the Republicans did not target one of their own programs. The $1.2 billion in spending savings will come from a program to encourage the production of fuel efficient vehicles. You know, a program designed to reduce carbon emissions that contribute to climate change that increases the likelihood of catastrophic weather-related disasters.

Of course, this was all in response to tornadoes that occurred in Missouri last week. So, when Governor Fallin requests help for local governments like Piedmont whose infrastructure was annihilated, one can expect another similar battle with similar political posturing.

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