From THE TEXAS TRIBUNE:
Many New Yorkers and New Jerseyans serving in Congress have, for nearly five years now, kept a list of names handy to roll out at a moment’s notice. They call it “the Comeuppance Caucus.”
For some, the list is on a physical paper or bookmarked on a computer. For others, it’s merely tattooed into their brains. It consists of which colleagues voted against Hurricane Sandy funding back in 2013, and it’s chock full of Texas Republicans.
In fact, nearly every Texas Republican who was serving in Congress at the time voted against the $50.5 billion aid bill. And now their own constituents are facing the biggest natural disaster in state history.
“There is deep and lingering resentment by members of Congress who needed help in their districts when Sandy just ravaged their constituents,” said former U.S. Rep. Steve Israel, a Democrat who represented Long Island until he retired last January. “[U.S. Sen] Ted Cruz and others led the fight against that aid, and a lot of people said there would be a day of reckoning.”
Back in early 2013, Congress easily passed a massive funding package to support the victims of Hurricane Sandy, a storm that hammered the northern Eastern Seaboard just before the 2012 election.
Yet it galled many members from the region at the time that Republicans representing coastal states like Texas that are also susceptible to hurricanes would not back the bill, citing spending in it viewed by some as pork-barrel spending.
Both Cruz and his fellow senator from Texas, John Cornyn, as well as every Texas Republican in the U.S. House save for John Culberson of Houston, ultimately voted against the Disaster Relief Act of 2013.
U.S. Rep Peter King, a Long Island Republican, took the biggest shot at the delegation on Saturday, tweeting, “Ted Cruz & Texas cohorts voted vs NY/NJ aid after Sandy but I’ll vote 4 Harvey aid. NY wont abandon Texas. 1 bad turn doesnt deserve another.”
And then on Monday, U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, a New Jersey moderate Republican, added to the dogpile, calling the Texans who voted against Sandy relief “hypocritical based on geography.”
Even New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie joined in.
“The congressional members in Texas are hypocrites,” Christie told reporters Monday.
Cruz called the commentary “political sniping” in a Fox News interview Monday.
When asked if Hurricane Harvey had changed his mind about his stance in 2013, Cruz stood by his vote.
“Of course not,” he said. “As I said at the time, hurricane funding is a very important federal responsibility, and I would have eagerly supported funding for that, but I didn’t think it was appropriate to engage in pork-barrel spending, where two-thirds of that bill was unrelated spending that had nothing to do with Sandy.”
“It was simply politicians wasting money,” he added. “That shouldn’t happen.”
The Washington Post’s Fact Checker dug into Cruz’s latest remarks on Monday and ruled that “it is wildly incorrect to claim that the bill was ‘filled with unrelated pork.’ The bill was largely aimed at dealing with Sandy, along with relatively minor items to address other or future disasters.”
Privately, several sources close to Texas Republican members echoed Cruz’s comments about wasteful spending but did not want to speak publicly about the issue.
Congress returns on Tuesday and will have a whole host of new problems to sort out, on top of a slew of budget deadlines barreling toward the two chambers. Is there a chance that the Sandy vote will come back to haunt Texas?
The bipartisan message blowing in from the Northeast: Congress will deliver the funds to Texas. While there is no interest in punishing fellow Americans, these members do want those in Congress from Texas to know just how personally they took those “no” vote when their own constituents were in trouble four and a half years ago.
“New Yorkers made the argument that when a storm strikes, it’s not striking one region, it’s striking the whole country, and I think my colleagues will be faithful to put their [voting] cards in and pushing the button,” said Israel.
8 responses to “The water is deep. The bullshit is deeper.”
As we know Cruz and Cornyn are both rear ends and don’t give a flying fig about people. Now they are yelling loud and clear because they want to get re-elected. Lets see how they fair with the residents of Houston.
The situation in my state is dire and that is putting it in mild terms. I am terribly depressed seeing the images. I wonder how the jack ass politicians feel about it now. Little George in Big D. has not said anything publicly and big George and Barbara are in Maine. He made a little statement and I reckon that will suffice as far as he is concerned. Trump didn’t have the balls to fly over Houston so he could see the flood waters. He went to Corpus which was not hit hard and then Austin that only got rain and a little wind, Yep those repubs really know how to win friends and influence people. Sorry to have digressed here.
Until this afternoon, I had forgotten that you are in Texas, Yvonne. I hope you are safe and far from the disaster.
I thought it was very interesting that the only Rethug to vote for Sandy funds was the guy from Houston. I understand that Houston is not red like a lot of the other parts of the state.
Twitler couldn’t go to Houston. He didn’t want to get his hat wet. He needs it for advertising so he can continue to sell them for 40 bucks a pop.
Yes, true the Houston guy voted for Sandy. Can’t think of his name.
I’m in Waco, about 200 miles north of Houston. We’ve only had less than an inch of rain and no wind.
Austin is very blue despite having the capitol there and where the idiot politicians meet up. My daughter is as liberal as I but she says most of her yuppie neighbors are all repubs. They fly the US flag as if it’s their personal banner. Such hypocrites.
I raised my kids to be tolerant of all races and religions and class. My son is a repub because he identifies with his stupid friends. I am not proud of his political beliefs.
this is why we need term limits in congress. catastrophes like harvey should not be vendettas tossed around like a ball. the goal should be to help americans in the face of disasters and not to score a point to get re-elected. in addition, funds should be used to relocate communities to flood-free zones. why the hey would anyone want to rebuild in an area that will inevitably become flooded again? isn’t this an example of insanity?
Oh, Loony, I’m not at all sure term limits are such a good idea. Many of the good people in congress have been there a long time. There is much to be said for knowing the territory.
My greatest wish would be to overturn Citizens’ United, then reform campaign laws to make all campaigns strictly publicly funded, shorten campaign duration, and require all media outlets to publish candidates’ standardized platform statements as a public service. It would be the first step toward getting legalized bribery out of our government and loosening the hold of the 1%.
I know, idealist.
I agree with all you said, Chezmoi.
I think government is like a kitchen in a restaurant. You might get tired of some of the old familiar dishes and long for something new and fresh. That’s fine, and new chefs should be brought in to update the menu. However, the old chefs need to stick around, because they are the ones who will make sure you don’t get food poisoning, They know where all the utensils are and how to manipulate that quirky old stove that’s in the kitchen so that it works, even when everyone else thinks it’s on its last legs.
We don’t need term limits; we need to change those things that make sticking around for a long time attractive for the wrong reasons. If someone is really committed to public service for the public good, I think it’s great if they stick around. If they stick around just so they can enrich themselves or their friends or so that they can get a sweet lobbyist job after, they need to go. We got some new faces in Congress after the Teabaggers took over the GOP. They were and continue to be disasters. It’s not the length of service that’s important, it’s what damage they do while they are there.
I think the fight needs to be directed toward gerrymandering and getting rid of the electoral college. There also needs to be some kind of adjustment so that low-population states don’t have more power than highly populated states. While each state can continue to have 2 senators, I think their votes need to be weighted to reflect the number of citizens they are representing. In other words, we needs to knock everything down and reconfigure the whole shebang.
Yes, that’s an apt analogy. There is just so much crusty, greasy gunk in that kitchen at the moment, and that’s what needs to be cleaned up. I’m sure you must be aware of https://represent.us/ , a great organization that is working on a lot of those issues – you can sign their gerrymandering petition.
Then we need to find some talented young chefs to bring in next year as support for the great ones we already have. I’ve been hearing about a lot of ‘candidate boot camps’ and scouting going on.
One of the biggest problems in the kitchen is the dishwasher. It’s Eddie Munst…I mean, Paul Ryan, and all he does is make believe he is washing pots and pans (that are already spotlessly clean) while posing for cameras. Then there are those pesky turtles…I mean, rats running around shitting all over the place.