Our Common Good

Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, signaling that Republicans may revive last year’s battles over offsets to disaster aid relief, says he expects that any package to help Northeast states hit by the superstorm Sandy will have to including matching cuts in spending elsewhere in the federal budget.

“We always help communities during disasters,” he said Wednesday after having met earlier in the day with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is pushing for quick passage of an aid package. “The difference you have got now is that it is going to have to be offset.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he does not expect to have a confrontation with GOP members over aid.

“This is something that I think is important that we do as soon as we can. We want to make sure that the numbers are basically in the ballpark,” the Nevada Democrat said. “I’ve been told that the Republicans in the House agree that this is something that need not be paid for, and I hope that, in fact, is the case because if there were ever an act of God, an emergency, this is it.”