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September 26, 2011 9:30 AM Mark Warner asks a good question

By Steve Benen

In general, Sen. Mark Warner (D) of Virginia is not exactly a reflexive partisan. The Democrat who helped launch the “Gang of Six” talks late last year, Warner tends to be pretty moderate and uncomfortable with ideological fights.

This realization made his comments on CNN yesterday that much more interesting.

The topic at hand was the threat of a government shutdown and the way in which House Republicans have picked a fight over financing disaster relief — the GOP is holding the funding and the larger process hostage, demanding clean-energy offsets in exchange for emergency aid and keeping the government’s lights on. Warner fleshed out the perspective of his caucus quite well.

“The Senate is saying … ‘Why should we in effect rebuild schools in Iraq on the credit card, but expect that rebuilding schools in Joplin, Missouri, at this moment in time have to be paid for in a way that has never been in any of the previous disaster assistance that we’ve put out before?’”

That’s a good question. Why would Republicans have a weaker standard for foreign spending than they do domestic spending?

For many years now, congressional Republicans have been willing to invest billions of dollars in infrastructure spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, and never sought a dime of spending offsets. Now, with a weak economy and American communities hit by natural disasters, GOP officials decide foreign spending doesn’t need comparable cuts but spending in the U.S. does?

Maybe some enterprising Capitol Hill reporter can pose Warner’s question to the Republican leadership.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.

Comments

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  • walt on September 26, 2011 9:37 AM:

    Republicans, of course, don't mind military spending or the deficits that they incur. It's only when spending helps Americans of the wrong skin hue that they get tetchy.

  • T2 on September 26, 2011 9:37 AM:

    I'll answer that, it's pretty simple:
    MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

  • kevo on September 26, 2011 9:37 AM:

    Our corporate media is acting quite a bit like the British press of the 1930s - not running the salient news of the day in hopes not to stir the far Right too much. The moderate Warner has a very good observation, but will it get traction in our media news rooms?

    I think not! -Kevo

  • DAY on September 26, 2011 9:39 AM:

    " Why would Republicans have a weaker standard for foreign spending than they do domestic spending?"

    Assuming that is not a rhetorical question, the obvious answer is that foreign aid is usually channeled through defense, and we know how Republicans just love those defense dollars that flow into their re-election coffers!

  • Bless on September 26, 2011 9:46 AM:

    All in.

  • Rick on September 26, 2011 9:58 AM:

    Perhaps if the legislation specifies that KBR will get a no-bid cost plus contract to do the disaster relief. That should do the trick.

    To seal the deal - Obama should threaten to veto it.

  • Eric on September 26, 2011 9:58 AM:

    Good luck finding an enterprising Capitol Hill reporter to pose that question.

  • The Republican Party on September 26, 2011 10:02 AM:

    la la la la la I can't hear you

  • jcricket on September 26, 2011 10:03 AM:

    the difference? republicans want Americans to suffer and then blame Obama.

    They only want American voters to feel the pain.

    The money is inconsequential otherwise.

  • RepublicanPointOfView on September 26, 2011 10:12 AM:

    Why would Republicans have a weaker standard for foreign spending than they do domestic spending?

    To understand the answer to this question, you must understand that we do not approve of all foreign spending and you must differentiate between the various types of foreign spending that we do approve.

    We do approve of any and all spending to assist Israel move forward toward our goal of the end-of-times!

    We do approve of spending to build roads and bridges and schools and such in Afganistan and for now in Iraq; provided that such spending is funneled thru corporate America.

    We do not approve of spending, other than to buy support for Israel, on the African continent.

    While the Arabs in Afganistan and Iraq may be Sand N!ggers, they are not our completely black n!ggers that the democrats want to spend money on in our country.

    Does this assist in your understanding of why we republicans support the foreign spending that we do?

  • burro on September 26, 2011 10:20 AM:

    We're building them over there so we don't have to build them over here.

  • Josef K on September 26, 2011 11:06 AM:

    Maybe some enterprising Capitol Hill reporter can pose Warner’s question to the Republican leadership.

    Doesn't that presuppose the Republican leadership can even understand the question? Senator Warner is, after all, using a lot of big words there. Any reporter asking it will likely just get blank looks from Boehner, McConnell and Cantor if they tried.

  • Trollop on September 26, 2011 11:08 AM:

    burro gets two snaps.

  • doubtful on September 26, 2011 12:20 PM:

    The rank and vile of the Republicons doesn't know we're building roads and schools and cell towers and water treatment facilities in Iraq. They only think we're blowing them up and stealing their oil, which they're perfectly fine with.

    (Captcha just gave me the pi symbol in a word. Lol.)

  • exlibra on September 26, 2011 3:50 PM:

    Why would Republicans have a weaker standard for foreign spending than they do domestic spending? -- Steve Benen

    Why? 'cause they're "numnts aphona",that's why. It's been a long time since I've seen the term "numb nuts" used anywhere, yet it fits those folk to perfection. It is a pity however that they are *not* a-phonic...

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