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Monday, April 28, 2014

The messages from Washington on tornado; also a political tempest

Posted By on Mon, Apr 28, 2014 at 3:25 PM

click to enlarge ON THE SCENE: Gov. Beebe and Mark Pryor.
  • ON THE SCENE: Gov. Beebe and Mark Pryor.
Members of Congress from Arkansas naturally have issued words of comfort and promises of help in the aftermath of the deadly tornado. 

In addition to words earlier from Sen. John Boozman, recovering from heart surgery, came statements from:

Sen. Mark Pryor, who was with Gov. Mike Beebe at his Mayflower news conference:

Friends,

My heart’s heavy today as we continue to uncover the destruction of last night’s storms. I am sending my thoughts and prayers to all the families in Arkansas who have been devastated by this disaster.

I wanted to make sure you knew how you could help. The Red Cross is on the ground operating two emergency shelters and supporting four local community shelters.

The single best thing you can do is donate to support their work. You can use the link below:

Click here to give directly to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief to support families devastated by these storms.

If you prefer to donate by text message, simply text REDCROSS to 90999 to immediately donate $10 to relief efforts.

Amid all this loss, of lives, homes and property, we’ve seen Arkansans come together to help our friends and neighbors in need.

To all those affected, we’re praying for you.

Mark

The four congressmen said in a statement issued by Tom Cotton's office:

Washington, D.C. – Washington, D.C. – Congressmen Rick Crawford (AR-1), Tim Griffin (AR-2), Steve Womack (AR-3), and Tom Cotton (AR-4) issued the following statement following last night’s storm:

“Sorrow and grief for the devastation and tragic loss of life caused by last night’s storm is shared by Arkansans all over the state. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected and hurt by this horrific storm, and we thank the first responders who continue to help those in need. We will keep working to help our state and communities rebuild and ensure that federal resources are directed to the Arkansans who need them now.”

Related: I noted on Twitter Tom Cotton's vote in a small House minority against the spending bill that included $6.2 billion to replenish the federal disaster relief fund that will be tapped to help cope (and this isn't the only vote he has cast against such spending, alone among Arkansas Republicans). My comment drew a storm of criticism from supporters of Cotton. It is politicizing a tragedy, they say, to note such a thing. I'd say they're using a human tragedy to squelch discussion of a relevant political issue. It doesn't diminish the immense losses suffered in Arkansas to talk about all elements of the story, including federal aid to rebuild. It is a page from the NRA playbook that says you may not discuss assault rifles or oversized ammo magazines whenever they are used in mass slayings. It is politicizing a tragedy.

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