“This week the Republicans sent a message to victims of devastating hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes,” Reid said. “That message was, ‘Tough luck.’”
Most Senate Republicans on Monday night joined in a vote to block progress on the Senate-originated funding bill for FEMA, on grounds that the bill spends too much money. Although the bill did not advance, it is still pending on the Senate floor.
“These unfortunate people have lost friends and loved ones,” Reid continued. “It’s in our power to help them ... last night Republicans voted overwhelmingly to prevent us from coming to their aid.”
Reid also accused Republicans of bowing to the wishes of the Tea Party in voting down the legislation.
“It’s really unbelievable to think Republicans would waste time catering to the radical Tea Party while innocent victims of devastating dictators bide their time,” he concluded.
FEMA funding, which was approved last Tuesday in the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Homeland Security as part of Department of Homeland Security’s 2012 appropriations, amounts to about $6.9 billion, which is $4.2 billion more funding than is provided by the House bill and $666 million less than fiscal 2011 appropriations.