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Fake News: Opposition to Original Hurricane Sandy Aid Bill Supposedly Makes Republicans Hypocrites

Fake News: Opposition to Original Hurricane Sandy Aid Bill Supposedly Makes Republicans Hypocrites

Don’t expect Hurricane Harvey aid packages to be stuffed with unrelated pork barrel spending like the original Hurricane Sandy bill.

The mainstream media is at again: walking their well-worn propagandist path between fact and a fiction they hope seeps into public consciousness.  This time the target is Texas lawmakers who are requesting federal aid in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

The intent is to paint Republican lawmakers as “hypocrites” because they voted against the hideously pork-laden Hurricane Sandy relief package, yet are now requesting federal aid.

As a quick reminder, the Sandy aid package included taxpayer money earmarked for Alaska fisheries, Amtrak “expenses,” new vehicles for assorted federal agencies, and a range of other pork projects completely unrelated to the hurricane.

Headlines blast a fact but purposefully avoid context or explanation.

Dallas Morning News:  Texas lawmakers, now bracing for Harvey, voted against Sandy spending

New Texas Republicans hit by Hurricane Harvey voted against Sandy aid for N.J.

BloombergHurricane Harvey Puts Cruz, Cornyn in Political Bind Over Aid

The Hill:  Cruz, Cornyn back Texas gov’s request for disaster declaration

A “culture writer” for the New York Times tweeted out the Dallas Morning News story and was called out for the lack of context.

The Sandy disaster relief bill was so pork-laden that it was impossible for fiscal conservatives to vote for it (as Democrats well knew at the time).

The Inquisitr reported in 2013:

Hurricane Sandy relief bill “pork” complaints is reportedly a sticking point fiscally conservative lawmakers. The $27 billion relief legislation crafted to offer Super Storm Sandy disaster aid will reportedly be stalled until after the Congressional session, which ends on Wednesday, resumes.

Republican Representative Darrell Issa had this to say about the spending initiatives in the Hurricane Sandy relief bill:

“Your two senators packed this with pork. They had the opportunity to have a $27 to $30 billion dollar legit relief packages, packed it with pork, then dared us not to vote for it.”

Representative Issa was referring to New York Senators Kristen Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer. Some of the disputed items in the Super Storm Sandy disaster aid bill include a $150 million in funding for Alaskan fisheries. The bill would also have reportedly increased spending to the national flood insurance program, which is expected to max out its borrowing limit next week. If the flood insurance program cannot borrow more money, it will reportedly only be able to pay 12,000 of the estimated 139,000 of the Hurricane Sandy related claims, according to The Atlantic Wire.

The Bennington Banner notes multiple “pet projects” which have caused angst among Republican lawmakers who likely want to help Hurricane Sandy victims. Some of the disputed hurricane relief bill pork measures in $336 million in Amtrak expenses and $2 million in taxpayer funds to repair a room on one of the Smithsonian buildings in Washington D.C.

The publication also reports that the Super Storm Sandy relief legislation also includes $8 million to purchase new vehicles for federal agencies. A total of $4 million for repairs to the Kennedy Space Center were also added to the disaster relief bill.

In 2013, Democrats hammered the GOP for not voting for a Sandy aid package that had more federal monies going to pork than it did to actual assistance for those affected by the hurricane.  Republicans were cold and heartless and wanted Sandy victims living in the streets . . . you know the drill.

In 2017, the media is hammering the GOP for not voting for the Sandy “aid” package.  Republicans are not only cold and heartless, but hypocrites, as well.

This is exactly the sort of the thing that reinforces and legitimizes the public’s distrust of and disdain for the media.


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Connivin Caniff | August 27, 2017 at 5:40 pm

Isn’t the U.S. Government broke? I must be wrong. I guess a counterfeiter is never broke.

“The mainstream media is at again: walking their well-worn propagandist path between fact and a fiction they hope seeps into public consciousness…”

Much more ominously, the leadership of the Republican Party – OUR party – is in league with them, and is standing out of their way. THAT is the story.

Colonel Travis | August 27, 2017 at 5:57 pm

Same BS thrown at Cruz in 2015, when there was big flooding in Texas then.

Leftists are disgusting. They have no purpose in life except politics. And what’s even more pathetic is that the one thing they do – they stink at it. They control nothing in America except a handful of states and urban hellholes, all of which they’ve ruined.

“Ted Cruz is a hypocrite! Heh, heh, heh!”

Yeah this is the first thing on the minds of people wading through a living room in 3 feet of water today.

    “Leftists are disgusting. They have no purpose in life except politics….”

    They have a bigger purpose than that: fascist control of our nation. Without exaggeration, our lives would be worth less than a GOPe promise.

4th armored div | August 27, 2017 at 6:05 pm

Greater Houston is Becoming Increasingly Democratic

let’s see the DummyCraps vote against Texas and expect to win there in next election cycle.

So call their bluff — load the Texas relief bill with Obamacare “savings” and let them vote it down.

And the Democrats were able to get away with hammering the GOP for not voting for the Sandy aid bill because their handmaidens in the media would not report the truth about the bill!

We cannot allow socialism to invade TX. We must vote down all government aid packages and allow the people to help themselves. We believe in bootstraps for a reason. Helping the people of TX with federal monies, our monies will only make them dependent…

    Milhouse in reply to balank. | August 28, 2017 at 11:03 am

    Which would be lovely, if only Texans weren’t taxed to help the victims of every other disaster. Federal disaster relief is indeed unconstitutional, but now that Texans have been soaked to pay for everyone else they’re entitled to get their own back when they need it. Either pay up, or refund them every penny they’ve ever paid for other people, with interest, and exempt them from all such exactions in the future.

      Albert in reply to Milhouse. | August 28, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      I think we Texans should just secede. We don’t need Federal assistance or military jobs here. We’ll be fine by ourselves. Hopefully, we won’t rebuild in the flood prone areas as these types of disasters will become more common with climate change.

When the Senate passed the long-delayed $50.5 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package, 36 Republicans voted against the bill. But of the 32 no-votes from Senators who were not brand-new members, at least 31 came from Republicans who had previously supported emergency aid efforts following disasters in their own states.

While opponents complained that the bill contained too much unrelated “pork,” each of the 30 of them who had been present earlier this month when the Senate passed the much-smaller $9 billion Sandy relief bill (WITHOUT PORK) also voted no. All five top members of the Senate Republican leadership voted no on both.

Most incredible among the no voters were Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Pat Toomey (R-PA). Those two had not just backed disaster aid in the past — they actually sought disaster aid for their own states for relief from Hurricane Sandy. And Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) endorsed disaster relief for snow storms damages in Arkansas just four days before casting his “nay” vote.

The “hypocritical” list includes:

1. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH): Requested disaster aid after Hurricane Sandy.2. John Barrasso (R-WY), Republican Policy Committee Chair: Requested disaster aid after flooding.3. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Republican Conference Vice Chair: Demanded the Senate be called back from recess to pass disaster aid during a drought and boasts: “When a disaster surpasses the ability of states and communities to rebuild, Senator Blunt believes the federal government should prioritize spending to help the people whose lives and livelihoods are impacted. During his time in the Senate, he has fought tirelessly to ensure that Missouri gets its fair share of those federal resources specifically dedicated to disaster recovery.”4. John Boozman (R-AR): Requested disaster aid after snow storms in January 2013.5. Richard Burr (R-NC): Requested disaster aid after severe storms.6. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA): Requested disaster aid after flooding.7. Dan Coats (R-IN): Requested disaster aid after tornadoes. 8. Tom Coburn (R-OK): Requested disaster aid after winter storms and for extreme drought.9. Bob Corker (R-TN): Requested disaster aid after flooding and asked for supplemental emergency flood relief. 10. John Cornyn (R-TX), Republican Minority Whip: Demanded drought relief aid and requested disaster aid for wildfires.11. Mike Crapo (R-ID): Boasted of obtaining a FEMA fire safety grant and pushed for a bill providing emergency drought relief.12. Mike Enzi (R-WY): Requested disaster relief after flooding.13. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): Requested disaster relief after freezing and boasted of obtaining emergency drought relief.14. Chuck Grassley (R-IA): Requested disaster relief after severe hail storms.15. Orrin Hatch (R-UT): Requested disaster relief after flooding.16. James Inhofe (R-OK): Boasted of obtaining disaster relief after severe storms and drought.17. Johnny Isakson (R-GA): Requested disaster aid after flooding.18. Mike Johanns (R-NE): Requested disaster relief after flooding and blasted Democrats for “inaction on disaster relief” for drought and wildfires.19. Ron Johnson (R-WI): Requested disaster relief after a blizzard. 20. Mark Kirk (R-IL): Appealed after FEMA denied assistance following severe storms and tornadoes.21. Mike Lee (R-UT): After calling federal disaster relief unconstitutional, endorsed relief aid after flooding in Utah.22. John McCain (R-AZ): Endorsed disaster relief after flooding.23. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Republican Minority Leader: Requested disaster relief during a drought and after tornadoes.24. Jerry Moran (R-KS): Requested disaster relief after tornadoes.25. Rand Paul (R-KY): Requested disaster relief during a drought and after tornadoes.26. Rob Portman (R-OH): Endorsed disaster relief during a drought and after storms.27. Pat Roberts (R-KS): Boasted of obtaining disaster relief after drought and wildfires and criticized the Bush administration for inadequate emergency relief after a blizzard.28. Marco Rubio (R-FL): Requested disaster relief after severe freezing.29. Jeff Sessions (R-AL): Requested disaster relief after tornadoes and during a drought.30. John Thune (R-SD), Republican Conference Chair: Requested disaster relief after flooding and snow storms.31. Pat Toomey (R-PA): Requested disaster relief for Hurricane Sandy before it even hit landfall.

Not one of the opponents has co-sponsored Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-NV) “Extreme Weather Prevention and Resilience Act” which would encourage Congress to “prepare and protect communities from extreme weather, sea-level rise, drought, flooding, wildfire, and other changing conditions exacerbated by carbon pollution” and “reducing pollution, promoting the use of clean energy sources, and improving energy efficiency.”

While opponents complained that the bill contained too much unrelated “pork,” each of the 30 of them who had been present earlier this month when the Senate passed the much-smaller $9 billion Sandy relief bill (WITHOUT PORK) also voted no.

BS. There was no porkless bill. HR1 was far smaller than HR8, but it had plenty of useless and wasteful spending that had nothing to do with actual relief for the disaster victims, and principled Republicans were right to oppose it (even without bringing the general objection to all federal disaster relief, which has no basis in the constitution).

Actually, there is no direct basis, in the US Constitution, for much of anything that the federal government does. However, a case can be made for funding to repair infrastructure which contributes to interstate commerce, Repairs of roads, river and canal infrastructure, electrical grids, communication grids, railways, etc. could, arguably, fall under interstate commerce, following a natural disaster. The same could be done with law enforcement grants. Simply giving money to residents to repair their property would be couple of bridges too far. And, certainly, spending money of salmo fishing in Alaska, for a natural disaster in New Jersey would be ludicrous.

    Milhouse in reply to Albert. | August 28, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    No, the salmon were in HR8. But HR1 was packed with pork, did not offset spending elsewhere, and expanded the federal involvement in flood insurance, which shouldn’t exist.

      Albert in reply to Milhouse. | August 28, 2017 at 8:49 pm

      Since we are talking about the final bill, all that was funded was related to Hurricane Sandy. Obviously, we Texans think anything related to New Jersey and New York is pork. When we secede, then we can see how well they survive without us!

        Milhouse in reply to Albert. | August 29, 2017 at 11:00 am

        Since we are talking about the final bill, all that was funded was related to Hurricane Sandy.

        No, it wasn’t. Saying it’s related is not the same as being related. Nor were there offsetting cuts to other spending, and the insurance takeover was still in there.

I totally agree — but who knows where I can see the bill with all the pork? I really want to forward it to all those liberals I know.

The only Hurricane Sandy relief bill I found was introduced by a Republican and was only 135 words — increasing the Flood Insurance temporarily — and it had no amendments.