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Editorial: Funding should be returned

Due to Republican intervention, Florida lost $142 million in unemployment assistance Wednesday. The money will be added to the $11 billion in disaster relief the House promised New York. While New York does need to help those directly affected by the Sept. 11 attacks, other states also need to help their own unemployed as the economy continues to weaken and the recession sets in. To reappropriate funds from important state programs is unfair and should be reviewed and reversed.

The $142 million taken from Florida will also help support a $318 billion defense package that will help fund the military, recovery efforts and homeland defense.

The 15 Republicans on the Rules Committee unanimously approved the decision that allowed the allocation of funds. Only eight Democrats are on the committee, and seven voted against it, while one did not vote. This voting dichotomy shows that not everyone agrees that existing programs should be robbed of money for New York.

The message some legislators are sending is that the unemployed of Florida are just as needy and important as the unemployed of New York. Florida Rep. Jim Davis agreed saying the moving of funds was a “last minute deal put together by the White House and the Republican leadership to appease New Yorkers at the expense of Florida and other states.”

Florida deserves its money back. Funds for New York should come from other sources. For instance, unneeded projects, such as those meant only to boost politicians’ approval ratings, should be slashed or eliminated instead of ones that have been established and are obviously needed.

As the recession continues, the unemployment rate will continue to rise as it did in October when it jumped to 384,900. These people will need help and so will people who lose jobs in the future.