When Billy Long finds a sound bite he likes, he uses it again and again. Take this one for instance:
While we need to look everywhere to make spending cuts, making sure our first responder, disaster relief and national defense communities have the tools they need always will be a priority while I’m in Congress.That's from the Joplin Globe story by Susan Redden: Disaster funding bill faces hurdles.
The hurdle the bill is facing is where the offset for the $1 billion in aid comes from. The GOP, and Long, want to get the money through cuts to the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program at the Department of Energy. The program was funded by Congress in fall 2008 to provide debt capital to the U.S. automotive industry for the purpose of funding projects that help vehicles manufactured in the U.S. meet higher millage requirements and lessen U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
Democrats want to raise the cash by cutting subsidies for big oil companies.
Long called the DOE program “under-performing,” noting that it was first funded in 2009 and that about $4.2 billion remains unused from the $7.5 billion appropriated.
For Russ Carnahan (MO) the discussion about cutting funding for clean energy versus cutting subsidies for big oil companies “is a debate that should be left in Washington and not put on the backs of the people in Joplin.”
Cue the Long sound bite: “While we need to look everywhere to make spending cuts, making sure our first responder, disaster relief and national defense communities have the tools they need always will be a priority while I’m in Congress,” Long said.
Long said the same thing May 25, 2011 in the Springfield News-Leader story by Maliaa Rulon House majority leader: Don't let disaster funds add to growing deficit:
Rep. Billy Long, a Springfield Republican whose district includes Joplin, said he was happy to see Cantor's tweet that House Republicans had found the offsets."Making sure our first responder, disaster relief, and national defense communities have the tools they need will always be a priority while I am in Congress."
"Our deficit is not because we are taxed too little but because Washington spends too much," Long said. "I was sent to Washington to rein in wasteful government spending. While we need to look everywhere to make spending cuts, making sure our first responder, disaster relief, and national defense communities have the tools they need will always be a priority while I am in Congress."
On February 11, 2011, Billy Long voted "YEA" on House Resolution #1 which cut $410 billion from the National Weather Service budget The service operates a nationwide network of weather monitoring stations intended to provide advance warning for natural disasters.
On April 15, 2011, Rep. Billy Long 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.
Billy "I was Tea Party before Tea Party was cool" Long 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.
Long voted for the Joplin relief appropriation on June 2, 2011, effectively saying that Big Oil Companies can keep their subsidies, we'll screw the environment to pay for the Joplin relief.