Majority want federal funds for disasters, regardless of cost
May 29th, 2013
08:49 AM ET
10 years ago

Majority want federal funds for disasters, regardless of cost

Washington (CNN) - Nearly six in ten Americans say the federal government should provide funds to states slammed by natural disasters without having to cut spending in other areas of the budget, according to a new national poll.

Fifty-nine percent of people questioned in a Washington Post/Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday say federal emergency aid does not need to be offset by cuts elsewhere in the budget, as some GOP lawmakers have urged. Nearly seven in ten Democrats, 57% of independents, and even 52% of Republicans questioned agree.

After Superstorm Sandy caused billions in damage to the northeast coast last autumn, many congressional Republicans voted against appropriating additional federal funds for relief, saying the aid should be offset by spending cuts in other areas. The funding was eventually passed by Congress.

When tornadoes devastated the town of Moore, Oklahoma at the beginning of last week, the issue of offsets was once again in the spotlight. Both of the state's Republican U.S. senators, Tom Coburn and James Inhofe, voted against the Sandy relief funding over budget concerns, and at first said any additional funding for Oklahoma would need to be off set as well.

But they added that in their state's case, the Federal Emergency Management Agency had more than enough existing money available for aid to tornado victims, and additional federal funds would not be needed.

The Washington Post/Pew Research Center poll was conducted May 23-26, after the disaster in Oklahoma, with 1,005 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: FEMA • Oklahoma • Superstorm Sandy
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Warren

    So 52% of Republicans do have a heart...

    May 29, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  2. lolo

    You can't get the GOP/Tea Party Talibans to agree. Only government subsidies for their party is good enough. Hypocrits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 29, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  3. Al-NY,NY

    oh no. Cue the "polls don't matter" "they didn't call me" or whatever comments. As long as it's a taker state, the GOP loves it but a blue "maker" state they couldn't care less

    May 29, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  4. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Yea gop bafoons , get a clue, anyway gop train wreck in 2014 and 2016, we don't like you or want you runing our country,maybe somila .

    May 29, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  5. MaryM

    So, the question is now that Both of Oklahoma state's Republican U.S. senators, Tom Coburn and James Inhofe, voted against the Sandy relief funding over budget concerns, will the Senators from the states affected by Sandy vote against relief for Oklahoma. What's that you say? Karma ? What goes around comes around?
    Well shall see.

    May 29, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  6. Sniffit

    "even 52% of Republicans questioned agree."

    Ask that same question when there isn't a current, ongoing tragedy and need for aid in a red state and you'll get a vastly different number. Republicans are nothing if not consistent in their myopia.

    May 29, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  7. ThinkAgain

    As I'm sure Rand Paul would agree, these folks shouldn't be getting any federal tax payer assistance! (At the very least we should hold up relief until those affected states agree to cuts in other monies they get from the feds.)

    These so-called "victims" choose to live in these areas; why should us taxpayers subsidize their folly? Life is full of taking chances – and when things don't work out, that's your tough luck. To help these folks only enables their bad behavior, which goes against our Founders ideals of self-reliance.

    We should follow the Romney economic model of letting these people lose everything to free up their property and houses so investors can come in, renovate and rent those dwellings back to the former owners. That's what the free market is intended to do – and we'll all be OK with it, because anything less is socialism.


    May 29, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |