For several weeks now, Tampa area Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor has been ripping into a proposal by House Republicans that would cut funding by 40 percent for so-called "hurricane hunters' - military plans that fly into hurricanes in order to measure and track them.
The issue has grown in resonance after Hurricane Irene churned up significant damage in the Northeast. Concurrently, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was saying even before the storm hit that Congress would need to make commensurate budget cuts to pay for FEMA funding for hurricane cleanup.
That statement has been met with considerable criticism, and not just from Republicans (In Politico, psychologist Drew Weston, who recently wrote a scathing op-ed about Barack Obama in the New York Times, writes, "The Republicans are so far out on an ideological limb on this one that you can see Russia from their perch.').
But the GOP now wants to cut down on monitoring hurricanes before they hit, prompting Congresswoman Castor late last week to write to House Speaker John Boehner, as well as Republicans Frank Wolf and Hal Rogers, the chairmen of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Subcommittee, and Appropriations, respectively: