Superstorm Sandy hit the U.S. east coast on Monday October 29, 2012. It was the second-costliest storm in U.S. history, and devastated New York and New Jersey coastal communities. Plenty of families and individuals are still feeling the effects and are looking to others for help. The White House has a plan on the table to get help to those individuals. Yet, there are Republicans in Congress who simply cannot agree on the disaster relief bill that will be up for a vote on Tuesday in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
Here are several reasons why Republicans are skeptical the Sandy relief bill.
1. $16 trillion in debt
It is no secret that the Republicans wish to reduce the government’s $16 trillion debt with deep spending cuts. The Sandy emergency funding package totals $51 billion, and goes directly against accomplishing that goal. Regardless of how callous and calculating that may be, the people on the east coast continue to wonder if they will receive help to get their lives back on track several months after Sandy. The Republicans are so focused and adamant about reducing the debt through spending cuts that some of them are failing to see the reality that many families in New York and New Jersey face. To the Republicans, $16 trillion in debt represents a figure that they feel must be reduced at all costs in any way possible. But to Sandy victims, it represents prevention for the assistance that they desperately need.
2. Doubt concerning the actual effect of the relief effort
There is certainly a lack of confidence in the government’s ability to help its citizens in times of crisis. The mere fact that I’m writing an article about the Republican divide is a clear sign that many of them believe our government’s money should (or should not be) spent elsewhere. Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) made the following remark about the emergency funding bill in this article: “This bill is about $50 billion. That averages out to be about $450 from every household in the country.”
It is evident that many Republicans believe that if this going to be the case, the money collected from each and every household should be spent on something else or not be collected at all. The doubt stemming from the situation is causing many Republicans in Congress to believe that this is not the way to handle the situation.
3. The compulsion to be a vigorous opposition
Republicans, just like any of us would, have a bitter taste in their mouths after losing. In the 2012 election, Democratic President Obama was pitted against Republican outsider Governor Mitt Romney. Obama has never failed to obtain a presidential nomination when he is in the race, and Romney had finally gotten the nomination after trying twice previously. Obama had four years to prove to the country that he deserved four more to continue his work, and Romney tried his best to display that he was a better alternative. The American people agreed with Obama, and the Republicans were left reeling.
Shortly after Obama knew he would be given another four years, he aggressively went after getting his fiscal cliff deal done. The Republicans aggressively pushed back and were not happy with the way the situation looked for them. They knew that if Romney had won, their reality would look rather differently.
Now with the Sandy bill, it appears that many Republicans are confused about whether they should stick to their guns or agree with how Obama wishes to handle the relief funding. Some appear to believe that the best interests of those affected by the storm should come first and others feel that they should not be allowing Obama to “get his way” on everything so shortly after his election victory.