One thought on “And by the way

  1. From HuffPo:

    Tucked into the House Republican continuing resolution are provisions cutting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, including the National Weather Service, as well as humanitarian and foreign aid.

    Presented as part of a larger deficit reduction package, each cut could be pitched as tough-choice, belt-tightening on behalf of the GOP. But advocates for protecting those funds pointed to the crisis in Japan as evidence that without the money, disaster preparedness and relief would suffer.

    “These are very closely related,” National Weather Service Employees Organization President Dan Sobien told The Huffington Post with respect to the budget cuts and the tsunami. “The National Weather Service has the responsibility of warning about tsunami’s also. It is true that there is no plan to not fund the tsunami buoys. Everyone knows you just can’t do that. Still if those [House] cuts go through there will be furloughs at both of the tsunami warning centers that protect the whole country and, in fact, the whole world.”

    The House full-year continuing resolution, which has not passed the Senate, would indeed make steep cuts to several programs and functions that would serve in a response to natural disasters (not just tsunamis) home and abroad. According to Sobien, the bill cuts $126 million from the budget of the NWS. Since, however, the cuts are being enacted over a six-month period (the length of the continuing resolution) as opposed to over the course of a full year, the effect would be roughly double.

    As for NOAA, the House GOP cuts are even deeper. The House spending bill is roughly $450 million below the president’s 2011 budget requests. The Senate Democratic bill would be $110 million below that request. The White House-allied Center for American Progress, argued that the House spending bill would actually cut $1.2 billion from the president’s budget requests, likely by taking into account that the bill does not provide NOAA the funding increase requested for the Joint Polar Satellite System.

    Kevin Drum has more on this. Apparently, Yglesias tweeted about this and was criticized for bringing this up…when there was such a terrible example of why tsunami warning is a good idea!

    Gotta hand it to the Repubs — they had no shame.

    Thanks for the heads up on this issue, Susie!

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