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Last week, President Obama issued a request for $60.4 billion for Hurricane Sandy response and recovery. Yet as the fiscal cliff continues to loom nearby, many on Capitol Hill are asking exactly where that money would come from.

While House Speaker John Boehner (R–OH) has indicated that he is still evaluating the President’s request and deciding how to move forward, others in both the House and the Senate are calling for Hurricane Sandy spending to be offset by spending cuts elsewhere in the federal budget—and they’ve been quick to take heat for it.

Senator Dick Durbin (D–IL) has stated, “This is fundamentally unfair for some Republicans to insist on offsets for Sandy.… This notion that we have to cut money out of the budget, Medicare, you name it, to offset each of these disasters is unrealistic and unfair.”

Let’s put aside the tugging on Americans’ heartstrings for a minute and see if the facts paint a different picture.

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