Cantor: Disaster relief must be offset

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) continued to stress Sunday that disaster relief funds for tornado-ravaged Missouri would have to be offset in the federal budget with cuts elsewhere. 

The House majority leader added on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that there was a certainly a federal role in helping to rebuild Joplin, Mo., and that Congress would move after getting a request from President Obama. 

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But, he said, the government needs to act in this case like a family who faces an unforeseen expense and has to cut elsewhere.

“Because families don’t have unlimited money,” Cantor said. “And, really, neither does the federal government.”

Cantor began calling for offsets last Monday, the day after the tornado that has killed well over 100 struck Joplin. On Tuesday, a House appropriations subcommittee found a $1.5 billion offset to help finance an aid package.

With President Obama set to visit Missouri on Sunday, Jay Nixon, the state’s governor, said on the show he had already started discussing the need for aid with federal officials and that he was putting aside matching state funds.

“We’ll make our case,” Nixon said. “And I’m sure it will be an effective case to make sure we get the dollars that other regions have gotten.”

“It comes to priorities,” Nixon added. “When God chooses your town and takes it away from you, then the people of Missouri and the people of America are going to do everything within our power to make sure we help rebuild this town.”