President Obama pledged full support to the state of Missouri Monday, after the worst tornado in 50 years ripped through the town of Joplin and churned up $3 billion in damages. But House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said that before Congress approved federal funds for disaster relief, it had to offset the spending with cuts to other programs. In the short term, a House panel yesterday proposed $1 billion in emergency disaster relief money that would be offset by a spending cut elsewhere. Where that money will be taken from remains to be seen, but as natural disasters seem to occur more frequently, and the Republican-controlled House aims to rein in government spending, how will the government offset these future costs? Should other programs be cut in preparation?
Greg Carbin, warning coordination meteorologist with the NOAA Storm Prediction Center
Nikhil daVictoria Lobo, senior vice president of the re-insurance company Swiss Re