Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-17) issued the following statement after House Republicans continued their failed policy of using disaster victims as hostages in their attempt to demand offsets for disaster funding.
"After their first attempt at passing a Continuing Resolution to fund the government, which included emergency funds for disaster victims tied to cuts at the Department of Energy, failed Wednesday, the Republicans chose to raise the stakes. They chose to keep the cuts, instead of working with Democrats in the House and Senate. They chose to force disaster victims to beg for help at the government's door. They surrendered to their most radical Tea Party members, and set a dangerous precedent of requiring offsets to deal with disaster assistance.
"If they so desperately want to include an offset, why not repeal the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthiest of Americans. They could remove tax breaks for oil companies and industrial polluters. Instead, they chose to gut programs designed to promote job growth in clean energy industries.
"They have once again manufactured a crisis where there was none. The Dow Jones Index is down 391 points today, because of this fake crisis. There is ample room for a bipartisan bill -- one which does not link humanitarian actions and politics.
"The Senate must reject this political spending bill and pass one which helps our citizens without a ransom attached. Make no mistake -- the radical elements of the House GOP Majority are once again bringing the nation to the brink of another government shutdown. However, this time they are doing it on the backs of families whose homes are about to be condemned because of flooding and tornadoes. I am appalled that it has come to this."