Another hostage scenario is brewing – this time Republicans are holding victims of natural disasters for ransom. Congress needs to approve a funding measure by the end of the month – or the government will shut down – furloughing 800,000 federal workers. But the Senate and the House aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on a funding bill – and it all comes down to disaster relief aid. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid passed a funding bill that included nearly $7 billion of disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Irene – the Joplin tornados – and the countless people across the nation devastated by historic flooding this year.
So far – estimates put damage from natural disasters this year alone at about $32 billion. But Republicans in the House won't spend money on things that show government can actually work and solve problems, so they’re proposing a much smaller relief package – about $3.6 billion – and they likely won’t budge on that number.
As Senator Reid said, “I'm not that sure (that a shutdown will be averted), because the Tea Party-driven House of Representatives has been so unreasonable in the past, I don't know why they should suddenly be reasonable." Welcome to Republican rule in American – where the next hostage could be you!