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House committee approves disaster relief for Midwest

Today, by a bipartisan voice vote, the House Appropriations Committee approved $1 billion in disaster-relief funds for communities affected by the weather damage in the Midwest and other areas.

The money will be in an amendment to a Homeland Security bill that will be on the House floor in the middle of next week.

The $1 billion will be fully paid for by an offset. That offset is a $1 billion cut in a Department of Energy program called, "The Advanced Technology Vehicle Loan Program," which was in the stimulus package. It's a program both sides were willing to cut.

Yesterday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) caused some consternation amongst some when he said any supplemental funding bill for disaster relief would have to be paid for -- and thus not add to the debt. Today’s bipartisan vote ensures that will be the case.