The Republicans in the U.S. Congress are holding up the relief money for the hurricane damage. This is unprecedented. The Congress has always provided federal disaster relief. Here are some of the reasons it is being held up:
• New York and New Jersey are blue states. They vote Democratic.
• It makes the federal government, and especially Obama, look bad.
• Republicans gain more leverage over the Congressional process. They will extract more concessions.
• Republicans can claim, falsely, that they are acting over concern for deficits; strengthening their tactical position. It will help, not hurt them, in the next elections.
• This inaction will help their campaign fund raising from right wing donors.
The suffering of tens of thousands of needy people does not concern them.