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Republicans Hate Funding Disaster Relief… Until It Helps Their Own State

03 September 2017

It has been painful to hear the master of polarizing, incendiary rhetoric babble on about non-partisanship unity amid the Hurricane Harvey rescue efforts.

Ted Cruz (R-Texas) rebuked New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's complaint, which he voiced earlier in the show, that Cruz misled the public about a Hurricane Sandy relief package in order to posture himself as a more conservative candidate in 2016.

Well, five years is a long time, but not too long to go back and check on the internets.

Numerous items that Cruz dismissed as "unrelated pork" were actually long-term projects to help the area recover from Hurricane Sandy and develop more resilient public infrastructure.

Tropical Storm Harvey has spun off a pissing match between Chris Christie and Ted Cruz. And what I said at the time, as you might recall, is 'Someday it's going to come to Texas.' It just does. "Puts it down. Lies".

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Cruz, speaking from Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center, acknowledged during an interview with CBS News on Wednesday that FEMA funding for Texas relief will incur massive costs in terms of damage, amid what he referred to as "political sniping" over Hurricane Sandy funding. It wasn't because Texans like Cruz were purposely punishing or voting against Sandy victims; it was because the so-called "emergency disaster relief" was hardly an emergency relief bill at all. Two-thirds of that bill had nothing to do with Sandy, and what I said then and still believe now is that it's not right for politicians to exploit a disaster.

"They were playing politics with it", Christie said of Cruz and others.

First, the GOP-controlled Congress cut the aid requested by former President Obama and the governors of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, who had asked for a total of $83 billion to make their states whole again. Cruz said on NBC he supports the federal government's role providing hurricane and disaster relief. The Washington Post quickly and thoroughly debunked his claim that two-thirds of Hurricane Sandy relief funding had nothing to do with the hurricane, as did PolitiFact and several disaster relief experts. Cruz & Co. can't guarantee an aid package for South Texas won't have unrelated line items in it. "There was a Senate version of the bill that never passed that had a lot more spending". Many Republicans opposed the full $51 billion aid package, which included a $34 billion amendment by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., that included grants for housing and other repairs patterned after the Katrina response.

Assuming the Republican members don't mind being called hypocrites, Congress should face little resistance in approving an aid package for Harvey victims.

And in the debate of Katrina relief, Mike Pence, then a Republican congressman for in, went to the House floor to declare: "Congress must ensure that a catastrophe of nature does not become a catastrophe of debt".

Republicans Hate Funding Disaster Relief… Until It Helps Their Own State