Government disaster relief and prevention efforts are noble, but they can have unforeseen negative consequences.
The old way of resolving disputes on Capitol Hill – backroom deals greased with US dollars for lawmakers' districts – has been replaced this year by a new brinkmanship. But the game of chicken has its own unintended consequences.
The recent Republican plan to offset hurricane relief through budget cuts reflects an outmoded 'scarcity doctrine' that invites limitation in society. Applying a loaves-and-fishes 'abundance model' does the opposite. A small liberal arts college in North Carolina shows why.
The Republican determination not to increase the deficit – even for disaster funding – brought Congress within a week of a government shutdown. In the end, FEMA had enough money to get by.
The Senate voted to fund the government through Nov. 18, after the latest stand-off between House Republicans and Democrats over disaster relief.
How to fund FEMA has emerged as the biggest point of contention as Congress seeks to pass a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown this week. In the meantime, those requesting federal emergency relief are wondering if it will ever come.
The Senate is set to vote late Monday on a spending bill to keep government running. This one, like a version rejected Friday, does not resolve the sticking point: how to pay for new disaster aid.
Disaster aid bill: The measure would also prevent a federal shutdown next weekend by financing government agencies from the Oct. 1 start of the new federal fiscal year through Nov. 18.
Conservative Republicans joined the Democrats in opposing the spending bill, whose defeat revives the threat of a government shutdown. A way forward for House leaders is unclear.
The House and Senate are far apart on how much to mete out for cleanup and recovery after an unusual streak of natural disasters this year. They don't usually budget for such events.