Billy Long voted to slash National Weather Service Budget which provides advance warning for tornadoes; suggests 'thoughts and prayers' instead.
On February 19, 2011, The Missouri delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives voted on H.R. 1, "Full Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011"
Their votes were as follows:
Nay MO-1 Clay, William [D]
Yea MO-2 Akin, W. [R]
Nay MO-3 Carnahan, Russ [D]
Yea MO-4 Hartzler, Vicky [R]
Nay MO-5 Cleaver, Emanuel [D]
Yea MO-6 Graves, Samuel [R]
Yea MO-7 Long, Billy [R]
Yea MO-8 Emerson, Jo Ann [R]
Yea MO-9 Luetkemeyer, Blaine [R]
Billy Long's "Yea" vote on H.R. 1 included a $410 million budget cut for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Commerce Department agency that runs the National Weather Service. The service operates a nationwide network of weather monitoring stations intended to provide advance warning for natural disasters.
“The No. 1 mission of the National Weather Service is to save lives,” said Dan Sobien, president of the National Weather Service Employees Organization. “If you start deconstructing the early warning system, something is going to fall through the cracks.”
BILLY LONG VOTED TO CUT $450 MILLION DOLLARS FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.
On April 15, 2011, Rep. Billy Long (R MO) again voted "Yea" on the GOP 2012 Budget Plan aka the "KILL MEDICARE BILL" which included the following cuts which directly affect the nation's preparedness for natural disasters (like a tornado in Joplin):
$1.2 billion cut in funding for NOAA, the government agency with “primary responsibility for providing tsunami warnings to the nation, and a leadership role in tsunami observations and research.”
$1.5 billion cut in grants for first-responders to disasters of “mass destruction.”
12 percent cut to Emergency Management Planning Grants, which provide critical funds to help communities conduct “effective catastrophic all-hazards planning.”
Closure of local National Weather Service offices and a furlough of NOAA employees for more than 27 days at a time. The closures would essentially silence the government’s warning system during disasters.
Cuts in NOAA’s satellite maintenance budget, putting satellites out of commission more quickly and crippling the government’s ability to track tsunami wave patterns, hurricanes and even routine weather patterns.
Additional cuts to FEMA and the Coast Guard.
According to a Ocean Conservancy fact sheet obtained by ThinkProgress, at least a third of US GDP is concentrated in weather sensitive industries and the GOP’s cuts could leave large sectors of the economy vulnerable to natural disasters. The cuts would also deny daily weather information to more than 30 million Americans, and reduce the military’s access to weather information before combat missions.
Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) released a statement on Monday about the tornado that devastated Joplin, Missouri. The death toll from this storm has reached 117, according to authorities. Here is the full text of that statement:
Shock and disbelief best describe the reports from those fortunate enough to have survived the tornado in Joplin. It is comforting to see the strong response from our local, state, and federal authorities and to see the surrounding communities come together and offer assistance during this difficult time. Please keep the families who have lost loved ones and the Joplin community in your thoughts and prayers.Yes, by all means, pray for these folks, Billy. But once you say your prayers, some of us would like to ask you if you still support Paul Ryan's budget, you know, the one you voted for on April 15, Remember that vote? I do. You were one of the 235 Republican representatives who voted for Ryan's budget bill which not only kills Medicare, but also slashes funding for FEMA, first responders, federal disaster recovery programs, and the National Weather Service..
So you can understand why I am more than a bit cynical when I read tweets like this: Representative Billy Long, "I was Tea Party before Tea Party was cool", has apparently been too busy shouting "FED UP" to acknowledge his own hypocrisy: he desperately needs the very programs he has been trying just as desperately to kill.
Of course, Billy is no stranger to hypocrisy. Hot diggity dog, remember his comments on Social Security and Medicare?
So Billy---you need to tell us: Do you still support slashing funding for FEMA? The National Weather Service? First Responders? Disaster Relief?
Your April 15 vote says you did, do you still?
And about extending those Bush tax cuts you are so much in favor of,,,,, what's it going to be? FEMA or extend Bush tax cuts? NWS or extend Bush tax cuts? First Responders or extend Bush tax cuts?
The people in Joplin need a heck of a lot more than your thoughts and prayers, Congressman, they are going to need money, and lots of it, regardless of what your buddy Eric is saying.
BTW, Billy, no disrespect intended, thoughts and prayers are nice, but tell that to the guy who's lost his house how your thoughts and prayers are going to help himh. He's going to need more than the grace of God to get through this.
Meanwhile, you keep those tweets coming, Billy. After all, it's all about you.