Cantor defends FEMA funding stance as “responsible”
Rep. Eric Cantor has taken a series of hits from his detractors over funding for Virginia from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Cantor has said on multiple occasions (and in the wake of multiple disasters) that any increases in FEMA funding must be offset by other cuts in the federal budget.
Senate Democrats have refused to pass an increase to FEMA’s budget, already passed by House Republicans, because it includes cuts to programs they consider priorities.
That has leaders in Virginia, including Governor Bob McDonnell, concerned that much needed funding for the Commonwealth could be held up over bickering in Washington.
I asked Rep. Cantor about his position on recovery funding tonight. His stance has not changed. Here is my story from NBC12:
CHESTERFIELD (WWBT)- Getting back to normal could cost billions of dollars.
Virginia will need help and the federal emergency management agency is already running low on funds.
But Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Henrico) stance is clear, no additional funding for FEMA or the Virginia recovery, unless there are cuts in other parts of the federal budget.
As the disasters mount up, and the cost of the recovery is calculated in the billions, the amount set aside to help states in need is starting to dwindle.
It is a role Congressman Cantor believes the federal government should play.
“We are in an environment where we have to do for people when they are in a disaster,” he said.
FEMA is currently budgeted for $729 million through the end of this fiscal year. That money could be gone by the end of the September, long before the need in Virginia will be calculated.
Cantor- who represents an area hit hard by major disasters in less than a week does not believe the money should just be handed out without cuts somewhere else.
“How can you sit here and say we are trying to be fiscally responsible out of one side of your mouth,” said Cantor. “And then do something out of the other?”
…read the rest of the story on NBC12.com
Extended clips from our interview with Rep. Cantor can be found below:
We caught up with Cantor tonight at a political event at a hotel in Chesterfield. An event that was met by a group of roughly 200 protestors. More on that after the jump:
A coordinated group of liberal activists gathered together several hundred people to protest the political event held by Rep. Eric Cantor in Chesterfield. The event was paid for by Cantor’s campaign committee. It was open to the public, but you had to have registered ahead of time in order to be allowed in. It was a predominantly friendly crowd.
However, when hotel officials learned of their purpose, they kicked them off the grounds. The Holiday Inn was soon guarded by Chesterfield and Capitol Police officers, who stopped each car before entering the parking lot to ask if they were guest of the hotel or the event.
The protestors moved to the parking lot of the nearby Toys R Us where they captured this raw video:
According to several press releases the goal of the protestors was to quote “call on Rep. Cantor to end tax breaks and loopholes for CEOs, hedge fund managers and others, and make big, profitable corporations pay their fair share of taxes so America can invest in creating quality jobs here at home. “
Congressman Cantor claimed to a group of reporters after his event that anyone was welcome to take part in his event, but that the protestors were not interested in a thoughtful discussion. Instead he viewed their efforts as an unproductive distraction.
His full comments on the protest can be seen here: