Yep, that sequester thingy sure takes on a whole new meaning when it's your state in the crosshairs of a natural disaster.
It looks once again like a group of austerity-obsessed Republicans have suddenly discovered a pressing new need for some of those parts of government they decided they didn't want to pay for. Specifically, the part they suddenly discover personally affects them:
With Tropical Storm Chantal headed for South Florida with landfall likely Saturday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott is sounding alarm bells about the impact of National Guard furloughs on state storm preparations. “The problem is you’re losing training time, you’re losing preparation time,” Scott said during a radio interview in Jacksonville. “When will the National Guard make the decision that we stop the furloughs? Right after the hurricane hits?”
Mr. Scott, I have it on very good authority that the National Guard has been implementing furloughs because Republicans insisted they not be paid enough to avoid furloughs. It was called sequestration and it was in all the papers. You may have heard of it.
Scott joined with two other Southern Republican governors whose states are in the path of tropical storms to write a letter to President Obama urging him to call off the furloughs. In Florida, nearly 1,000 employees of the National Guard are furloughed once a week, saving the federal government money under the congressionally mandated sequester but costing the state in readiness.
One of those two other Southern Republican governors is of course Bobby Jindal, most famous for being pissed off at something called "volcano monitoring" because his state doesn't have volcanos, but a firm believer in "hurricane monitoring" because Bobby Jindal only believes in things he can see out his window. It isn't so much an ideological conviction for him as it is pure self-centeredness, self-centeredness above and beyond that of the usual Republican wag.
So that's great, you're sending a letter off to President Obama saying you're very very peeved about the congressionally mandated requirement that members of the National Guard be furloughed because Republicans have insisted not just on implementing what all parties agreed at the beginning was the Stupidest Possible Way to cut spending, but are now insisting that we not actually fix because Congress is literally simply too incompetent to pass any better idea.
You know who would be a better person to complain to than President Obama? The damn Republicans who insist on the furloughs. The people who put the "mandate" in the "congressional mandate" part. You even have their numbers, it wouldn't be a hard call.