House Majority Leader Eric Cantor pressed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to send disaster aid funds to his own district even as he argued on the floor that all other parts of the US should not receive natural disaster aid from the general Treasury without offsets.
"Federal Emergency Management Agency officials have been busy convincing Congress to quickly fill its emergency aid coffers, as the agency finds its funds drained by the natural disasters that have hit the country in recent months. The insistence, led by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), that Congress should cut spending elsewhere to offset disaster relief funding, led to a partisan standoff and nearly shut down the government.
On Friday, however, FEMA officials found themselves busy answering to Cantor for another reason: He had requested a conference call to get updates on the disbursement of aid requested by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) for his district, which was affected by the Aug. 23 East Coast earthquake.
According to a read-out of the call from Cantor's office, as reported by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, 'FEMA said they have received the Governor's request and sent it to the White House for a decision but could not provide any specific information on timing. Even when asked for an estimate based on past applications they were unable to do so.' "
Amanda Terkel reports for the Huffington Post September 27, 2011.