House Republicans Insist on Aid Cuts Amid Japan's Disasters

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Photo by: Elena Schneider / Medill News Service / CC BY

House Republicans on Monday (March 14) upheld their proposed cuts to foreign aid and disaster preparedness for the rest of fiscal 2011, saying the reductions are key to curb the deficit.

The House Republicans’ proposal stands even as the international community scrambles to offer assistance to Japan, which is reeling from the effects of a trifecta of disasters - an earthquake, a tsunami and a possible nuclear meltdown.  

“All of us need to be tempered by the fact that we’ve got to stop spending money we don’t have,” Majority Leader Eric Cantor, (R-Va.), told reporters at his weekly press briefing. “Essentially, what you are saying is to go borrow money from the Japanese so we can spend it there to help the Japanese.” 

Cantor, however, said the U.S. would do what it can to provide assistance to Japan, The Huffington Post reports. 

H.R. 1, which was passed by the House in February, proposes reduced financing for addressing the adverse effects of natural disasters both in the U.S. and overseas. 

>> Civil Society, Lawmakers Caution Against Proposed Deep Cuts in US Aid Budget

The bill slashes financing for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s International Disaster Assistance by 67 percent. It also recommends lowering funding to domestic weather and ocean safety bureaus, including the National Weather Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

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About the author

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    Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.