One of the more unfortunate developments in recent years is the new status quo within the GOP of demanding that emergency disaster aid be offset with cuts elsewhere in the budget, something previously only a minority of members of Congress like Sen. Coburn demanded. This callous new standard led Republicans, including Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe (R), to vote en masse against aid to the victims of Superstorm Sandy.
To justify his vote against Sandy aid in view of the clear need for aid to Oklahoma, Inhofe claimed yesterday that aid to victims of the Oklahoma tornado is somehow “totally different” than the Sandy aid he opposed.
Extending federal aid to victims of disasters like the Oklahoma tornado is obviously just the right thing to do, but it’s troubling that Republicans now hypocritically demand aid for their own states while attempting to withhold help from other Americans who are the victims of tragic disasters.
Rep. Peter King (R), for one, got it right when he called out his fellow Republicans for “hypocrisy” while calling for immediate aid — without offsetting spending cuts — for the victims of the tragedy in Oklahoma:
I think they should get every penny they need. I’ve been through this. We can do the political games later on, the important thing is to get them the aid as quickly as they need it and not to make a political issue out of it.
BOTTOM LINE: Taking care of our fellow citizens when they are in need is what we do in America. Instead of playing politics with tragedies, we need to make sure people get the help they need when disaster strikes.
If you want to help the victims of this week’s tornado in Oklahoma and other disasters, you can make a contribution to the Red Cross HERE.