Fox News is spinning Rep. Eric Cantor's statement that disaster relief should be paired with spending cuts -- comments consistent with statements Cantor has made in the past -- as a simple "word of caution" against future government stimulus.
Cantor Has "Consistently" Sought To Pair Federal Disaster Relief With Spending Cuts
Cantor Spokeswoman: Cantor Has "Consistently Said That Additional Funds For Federal Disaster Relief Ought To Be Offset With Spending Cuts." Laena Fallon, a spokeswoman for Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), reiterated Cantor's position on disaster relief in an email to Talking Points Memo, saying that Cantor "has consistently said that additional funds for federal disaster relief ought to be offset with spending cuts." [Talking Points Memo, 8/25/11]
Eric Cantor: Money For Earthquake Relief "Will Be Offset With Appropriate Savings Or Cost-Cutting Elsewhere." According to CBS News:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor assured his constituents on Wednesday that Congress "will find the monies" to assist earthquake victims in Mineral, Virginia - but the Republican lawmaker noted that "those monies will be offset with appropriate savings or cost-cutting elsewhere."
Cantor and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, speaking together in a news conference, had previously toured Mineral to assess the amount of damage the city sustained in the wake of Tuesday's 5.8 magnitude earthquake. Mineral, which was at the epicenter of the quake, falls in Virginia's 7th district, which Cantor represents. [CBS News, 8/24/11]
Cantor Insisted That Disaster Relief In Tornado-Ravaged Joplin, MO "Will Be Offset." In an interview with CBS News' Face the Nation, Cantor called for tornado relief to be offset:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Sunday said that the government would "find the money" for emergency assistance to disaster-struck regions like Joplin, Mo., but that any aid would be offset by cuts to the federal budget.
Joplin is the latest American city to face devastation at the hands of a powerful tornado in what has been the deadliest tornado season on record since 1950. As of Sunday, the Joplin death toll was at 139, but is expected to go higher as the search continues for more than 100 people still missing.
In an appearance on "Face the Nation," Cantor (R-Va.) emphasized that, in dealing with the devastation, "there is an appropriate federal role" - but that, like any family, the government doesn't have unlimited resources.
"Congress will find the money," Cantor told CBS News senior correspondent Harry Smith. "And it will be offset." [CBS News, 3/29/11]
Fox Spins Cantor's Comment As A "Word Of Caution" Against Government Stimulus
Fox's Andrea Tantaros: Cantor Is "Being Anticipatory" And Saying "We're Not Going To Use This As An Excuse To Blow More Money On Another Failed Stimulus." From Fox News' The Five:
ANDREA TANTAROS (Co-host): I do think Cantor's being anticipatory in the fact that Democrats will likely use this as an excuse for more stimulus. And they will use it as an excuse for more stimulus funding. You already heard Biden on the plane back from China talking about it. So, he's trying to get out there early in front and say look, we'll do what we can, of course, to take care of the destruction and the damage. But we're not going to use this as an excuse to blow more money on another failed stimulus. We're just not.
KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE (Co-host): And that's all he's saying. It's a word of caution, I guess. [Fox News, The Five, 8/26/11]