Cantor wants FEMA increases coupled with budget cuts

CHESTERFIELD (WWBT) - Getting back to normal could cost billions of dollars. Virginia will need help and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is already running low on funds. But Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Henrico) stance is clear, no additional funding for FEMA or the Virginia recovery, unless there are cuts in other parts of the federal budget.

As the disasters mount up, and the cost of the recovery is calculated in the billions, the amount set aside to help states in need is starting to dwindle.

It is a role Congressman Cantor believes the federal government should play.

"We are in an environment where we have to do for people when they are in a disaster," he said.

FEMA is currently budgeted for $729 million through the end of this fiscal year. That money could be gone by the end of the September, long before the need in Virginia will be calculated.

Cantor- who represents an area hit hard by major disasters in less than a week does not believe the money should just be handed out without cuts somewhere else.

"How can you sit here and say we are trying to be fiscally responsible out of one side of your mouth," said Cantor. "And then do something out of the other?"

Former Governor Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), now running for the U.S Senate, believes the Majority Leader is trying to score political points with the powerful tea party

In an email to supporters he called Cantor's stance "the same kind of inappropriate negotiating tactics that nearly caused America to default on its financial obligations earlier this month."

It is a claim that Cantor rejects.

"We found the money and we found offsets. That's it," he said. "There are no strings attached."

That money Cantor is talking about is in the form of a House bill that bumped FEMA funding by over $1 billion. But that bill cut funding for Democratic pet projects such as grants for clean energy vehicles.

So the bill is stalled, as is important funding for Virginians in need.

We have extended clips from Rep. Cantor's comments in

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