little green footballs

Republican Hypocrisy Inaction Watch

Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 4:53:54 pm

Oct. 29, 2012: Flooded streets caused by Hurricane Sandy at the corner of Brigham St. and Emmons Ave. in Brooklyn NY, US. (Anton Oparin / Shutterstock.com)

The Republican Party owns this mess and more specifically the House of Representatives Republicans, up to and including Speaker John Boehner. They have had weeks to get a Hurricane Sandy aid package passed, but they sat on it. They've had a version to work with for more than three weeks.

The House finally acted today on one portion of the overall $60b request for aid from states affected by Hurricane Sandy. They finally acted to approve the $9.7b portion that re-funds the National Flood Insurance Program.

The people affected by this program are people who actually paid flood insurance premiums into this program for insurance. Republicans ignore that basic fact when they vote to oppose this funding. They have a fiduciary duty to act promptly. They failed miserably on that account, and it was only the righteous indignation of Republicans in New York and New Jersey, along with Governor Chris Christie to get even this meager piece of the reconstruction package to the floor for a vote.

The final vote was 354-67. All 67 opposed were Republicans. Many were from states that are regularly hit with natural disasters. Here's the list...

The 67 Republicans who voted nay on Sandy relief twitter.com/sahilkapur/sta...

— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) January 4, 2013

When you start digging deeper, you see a rather disturbing pattern. These Republicans had no problem demanding federal disaster assistance for their own constituents, but when it comes to Sandy disaster victims, they suddenly claim that the money's not there.

They're hypocrites.

Among those that I've tracked down that have sought aid include some of the leading Republicans in Congress, up to and including former Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) Hypocrite - Sought disaster aid for Wisconsin (paulryan.house.gov/news/documents...) , but voted against Sandy aid

— lawhawk (@lawhawk) January 4, 2013

Rep. John Duncan (R-TN) - #Hypocrite. Request disaster aid for 2012 tornadoes - wrcb.membercenter.worldnow.com/story/17181147... - deny it to #Sandy victims

— lawhawk (@lawhawk) January 4, 2013

Rep. Darell Issa (R-CA) - Let me secure federal aid (2002 fire - webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache...) , but deny #Sandy victims. #Hypocrite

— lawhawk (@lawhawk) January 4, 2013

Rep. Sensebrenner (R-WI) - I want my disaster aid too, but vote no on #Sandy (back in 2008 - highbeam.com/doc/1P3-149938...) #Hypocrite

— lawhawk (@lawhawk) January 4, 2013

The entire Kansas delegation opposed the Sandy flood insurance program fund bill, despite the fact that Kansas regularly seeks and receives without hesitation aid for tornadoes and severe weather as well as droughts and flooding.

Rep. Tim #Huelskamp (R-KS) - I want mine - huelskamp.house.gov/index.php?opti... - but #Sandy victims get nada. #Hypocrite.

— lawhawk (@lawhawk) January 4, 2013

Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) touted FEMA assistance outreach during flooding in his district in 2009. Now? Vote against #Sandy aid. #Hypocrite

— lawhawk (@lawhawk) January 4, 2013

For instance, Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) demanded immediate disaster assistance for flooding. Now? Vote against #Sandy NFIP. Hypocrite.

— lawhawk (@lawhawk) January 4, 2013

For those who forget, Hurricane Katrina, which wasn't exactly a model for federal action, still managed to approve the emergency aid package within 10 days. Congress is going on more than two months and still hasn't fully funded the Sandy reconstruction. Fault resides completely with the Republicans who have held this up for nothing more than partisan political bickering.

Now, you'll hear that some of these Republicans have no problem with disaster aid, but only when accompanied by offsetting cuts. None was requested or needed for prior disasters - and it sets bad precedent in any case. This is a fundamental job of governance and the federal government's duty and responsibility to the public. This isn't about finding ways to cut spending. It's about getting affected areas back up and running and restore the economic viability of affected regions. The faster the aid comes in, the faster the economic vitality of the region is restored.

It really is that simple.

The faster the aid flows in, the faster the affected local economy will improve. Businesses will be able to move forward with their own rebuilding plans. Individuals will be able to move ahead with their own home restorations and rebuilding. Localities can plan their own rebuilding efforts. This all gets stalled because of Congressional inaction. And the GOP must be held accountable for this.

UPDATE:
Now there are some on that list of 67 GOPers who are new to Congress and don't exactly have a record to review. However, that doesn't mean that they haven't taken a stand hypocritical. For instance, there's Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) who has no problem telling his constituents to go and check with the NFIP for flood insurance, but refuses to fund the NFIP when it deals with #Sandy aid:

Be Informed

Know evacuation routes, and listen to local authorities when asked to evacuate. Everyone should know their risks. Whether you live in a coastal community or inland, speak with your insurance agent now about flood insurance and review your homeowner's policy. Every state is at risk for flooding and homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is a cost-effective way to prepare financially for floods. To learn more about your risk and flood insurance, visit the website of the National Flood Insurance Program.

No sense in checking the NFIP if you don't fund it to cover disasters from Sandy and after. No money - no insurance payouts. That's something his constituents might want to know, particularly since hurricane season is just a few short months away.