Republicans Stall FEMA Aid

By Victoria Cepeda, Efrain Nieves

Natural disaster victims will have to wait for relief aid a bit longer thanks to House Republicans. Senate Republicans blocked a “$7 billion aid package  for relief funding of the natural disasters that have swept the country this summer” ( According to

Democrats again need 60 votes to advance the measure, but it does not look as if  they have the votes yet. Republicans say that the bill calls for too much spending – and they prefer to go through the House’s proposal for funding – attaching the FEMA aid package to the Continuing Resolution that would keep the government funded past Sept. 30. They will call for a $500 million increase for FEMA to remain solvent through the end of the month and will request an additional $5 billion for next year.

If only our political leaders would agree on at least an immediate emergency relief amount, say meet each other half way at $3.5 billion to get people moving from Joplin, MO to the flooding victims of Hurricane Irene along the northeast.

With the full understanding that our nation is cash strapped and overspent, we still believe that funds from other “approved budget cuts” can be diverted for this much needed relief.  What is it going to take for Congress, House  and Government to work on behalf of American’s best interest?

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10 Responses to “Republicans Stall FEMA Aid”

  1. The Department of Homeland Security was adding bureaucracy atop bureaucracy. That is what bureaucracies do. Just look at our more-than-a-dozen federal intelligence agencies.

    FEMA is a bureaucracy within a bureaucracy doing a job that the federal government has no Constitutional business doing. My house is my house and my responsibility. If damaged, that is my problem.

    Damage to federal property is the federal government’s — thus our — problem. Ditto for states, counties, cities, towns.

    • If you wish to not take federal relief that’s your own business. But there are people who will have nothing on top of nothing without the help and I’m talking about responsible homeowners and business owners/ Middle Class. This has nothing to do with invasion of privacy so I don’t understand the reason for government violating your constitutional rights.

      Your opinion on FEMA is your own and you have the right to it. What you don’t have the right to is pushing your opinion on the rest of America specifically those who are dealing with the affects of Natural Disasters as we type. Hence, that’s why it’s an opinion.

  2. The federal government has no-nil-nada-zero-zip-zilch money unless and until it takes it by force from people who earn it by producing things valued by others. What you are, in effect, thus saying is that on your behalf the federal government should rob me of a part of my life, my liberty, and a chunk of my property (from whence we pursue happiness) so as to repair damage to your (and others’) property. If YOU robbed me for that purpose, it would be a crime, punishable by prison time.

    Yet, somehow, you think that your authorizing the government to do it for you is legitimate. What FEMA (and much else) is, does, and spends is unconstitutional. Please read carefully Article 1 Section 8, and avoid the sucker traps.

  3. Dear “thedrpete,

    The House Republicans are putting together a package for the relief funds based on their criteria. Thus, the aid eventually will flow. The point we’re attempting to make here is that regardless of whether what FEMA does is constitutional (a word your ranks love to use and a document perhaps rarely read by most Americans) or not there has to be funds available to aid people affected by natural disasters. If the funds do not make it to FEMA to manage and eventually disburse to the states, all necessary assistance stops.

    Where there not some approved “CUTS” from where some $$$ can be re-directed?

    We definitely appreciate your fervor and attempt at rationale (surely you are not an affected person) but do remember that Christian values are based on helping those in need. It baffles me how “Christianity” is interpreted one way when it comes to those like minded but ignored when it comes to those we do not know or think like us.

    Victoria Cepeda

  4. For the benefit of our readers, I am including U.S. Constitution Article I, Section. 8. as suggested by “thedrpete”. Hopefully, he/she can explain the reference/relevance of this article to the approval of the relief funds by HOuse Republicans.

    Clause 1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    Clause 2: To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

    Clause 3: To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

    Clause 4: To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

    Clause 5: To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

    Clause 6: To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

    Clause 7: To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

    Clause 8: To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

    Clause 9: To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

    Clause 10: To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

    Clause 11: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

    Clause 12: To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

    Clause 13: To provide and maintain a Navy;

    Clause 14: To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

    Clause 15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

    Clause 16: To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

    Clause 17: To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, byCession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;–And

    Clause 18: To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

  5. Dear Ms. Cepeda,

    Re: “cuts”: No Republican or Democrat in congress nor the President nor any other Presidential Primary candidate has proposed cutting a single dollar from either the federal deficit or the federal debt. To know this you have to know Washingtonspeak. The OMB is required by law to use “static budgeting”, thus totally ignoring reality. The congress and the prexy have invented and use “baseline budgeting”, in which, for example, a 5% “cut” is actually a 4.5% increase.

    The issue here, Ms. Cepeda, isn’t whether Christian churches and congregants should “help those in need”. The issue is whether or not the U.S. federal government should take by force moneys from Americans, then spend it to operate a government agency, FEMA, and distribue some of the moneys taken by force to give to others to whom it doesn’t belong and by whom it was not earned.

    Re: the 18 enumerated powers: Where therein that exhaustive list, Ms. Cepeda, do you see the federal power to “provide relief funds” by either Republicans or Democrats or both?

  6. The U.S. Constitution was written to provide guidance as such within the following clasue is your answer: “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States”

    Thus, FEMA’s funds comes from taxes collected from the people. Whether the government does an effective/egalitarian tax collection is another issue. The Consitution grants Congress authority to act on our behalf and best interest. That also includes the House of Representatives.

    In the spirit of being totally transparent (at least I use my birth given name)Budgeting is not what the U.S. had ever done best. The current debt we face is the result of years of poor budgeting, overspending and tax cuts to the wealthy. But what do I know? I am just a brown Latina. For all the answers we should refer to the Republican way of government reinforced now but extremism courtesy of the Tea Party.

    BTW – Most reps are Christian, right? Yet their ssense of benevolence is totally twisted hence my mentioning it. NOw be kind enough to move on to your next task. We are no dimwits on this end. Our little piece does not endorse any irresponsible government appropiation of our hard earned dollars, rather calls for the joint collaboration of our politicians to find a viable solution to our current situation.


    Victoria Cepeda

  7. “[O]ur tenet ever was, and, indeed, it is almost the only landmark which now divides the federalists from the republicans, that Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but were to those specifically enumerated; and that, as it was never meant they should raise money for purposes which the enumeration did not place under their action; consequently, that the specification of powers is a limitation of the purposes for which they may raise money.” (Thomas Jefferson, via Quoty)

    “If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.” (James Madison, Letter to Edmund Pendleton, January 21, 1792 Madison 1865, I, page 546)

    Authors of the Constitution, Ms. Cepeda, agree with me and disagree with you. And that is not because you’re “brown” and I’m not or because you’re “Latina” and I’m not or because you transparently use your surname and I do not.

    By merely clicking on my username (thedrpete) you can go to and find me much-more-transparent than you, if you care to.

    As to your “tax cuts to the wealthy” silliness, you might be well-served, if you care to learn, by reading It’s not long and that’s not because the author is “brown”.

    Ah, but you asked me to leave, and so I will. Godspeed back at you.

    • Again, what you fail to see is a call from Americans asking the government the pissing contest needs to stop and help those in need in disaster areas. Since the money being used is our money (which you keep implying in almost all your comments) then those asking for some of it to help rebuild their homes and move on with their lives so can once again be the productive Americans pre-natural disaster. Don’t you not think that’s better than giving money to people who are not productive?

      It’s doesn’t take quotes from historical figures to figure that out. In fact, the same figures you quoted would have no doubt gave their all to help these people if they could.

      Thank you for your comment and your opinion which you have every right to. Now you can stop trying to impose it on us since we also have the right to our opinion. Have a great life!

  8. Obviously this guy has lots of time in his hands. Too bad he can’t put it to better/more constructive use.

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