The bill passed includes no general aid to victims but merely allows the federal flood insurance program to borrow $9 billion needed to pay claims filed by people who had paid premiums for coverage. That’s right: 67 Republicans voted against the United States government meeting its contractual obligations to people who had paid premiums for coverage.
Many of the 67 who voted “no” on this bill voted yes on a $50 billion supplemental bill just ten days after Katrina, and a $2 billion increase in flood insurance coverage. These hypocrites include Tom Graves and Tom Price (both from Georgia), Joe (“You lie!”) Wilson (South Carolina), Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee), Robert Goodlatte (Virginia), Trent Franks (Arizona), and Louis Gohmert, Randy Neubebauer, Kenneth Marchant and Mac Thornberry (all from Texas).
The entire Kansas delegation voted against the bill, even though you can be sure their hands will be out soon enough after the next tornado.
Eight Texas Republicans voted “no”, even as 100% of Ike-related expenses are still being covered by U.S. taxpayers four years after that hurricane tore through Galveston.
Several “no” votes came from members from Florida, the Carolinas, Alabama and Mississippi, who should know a thing or two about wind- and flood-borne devastation and misery.
One of the biggest hypocrites is Mo Brooks of Alabama, who less than two years after he held town meetings with Alabama tornado victims on how to get federal benefits they were "entitled" to then spoke out against funding for FEMA, decided that Sandy victims were “entitled” to nothing. Then there’s Sam Graves of Missouri, who led the Missouri delegation that appealed urgently to President Obama for immediate relief after the Missouri River flooded much of his state in 2011, but believes those that suffer in New York and New Jersey are merely looking for government handouts.
And, of course, there was also a “no” vote from Paul Ryan, Wisconsin's “Mr. Warmth”.
Fortunately, these aren’t all the Republicans in the House. I’ve usually disagreed with his politics but I cheered for Rep. Peter King (R-NY) when he tore into John Boehner and the rest of the Republicans when the Sandy relief bill was first shelved. Yesterday King insisted that “turning your back on people who are starving and freezing is not a Republican value.” I hope not, but I’ll need some convincing.
“This is not how Americans treat other Americans in crying need. This is a national disgrace,” said the New York Daily News this morning. The News, a generally Republican-leaning newspaper (they endorsed Mitt Romney for president), has published the phone numbers of the 67 stone cold legislators in today's edition. I recommend calling collect.