The hypocrisy of House Republicans was on full display for the American people to see on Tuesday, when Congress finally passed $51 billion in Hurricane Sandy relief and recovery aid that they should have passed weeks ago, if there were an actual rational and reasonable group of GOP lawmakers. But instead, 179 Republicans decided that emergency disaster relief, something any democratic nation on the planet would provide its citizens, must be offset by spending cuts.
But many of the Republicans who shafted their “colleagues” in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut had in the past voted for disaster relief when the Gulf Coast region was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Mother Nature doesn’t choose between blue states and red states, but apparently many House Republicans do.
The worst offender was Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), a member of the Tea Party Caucus, whose proposal to cut $20.4 billion in federal spending to offset Sandy relief was rejected. Mulvaney wasn’t in office for Katrina, but he did accept a federal disaster relief loan 15 years ago.
It should be noted that the bill passed with a minority of GOP support, marking the second time the Hastert Rule was violated, the other time being the “fiscal cliff” deal. Under the Hastert Rule, the Speaker will not allow a vote on a bill unless a majority of the ruling party supports the bill. But with Boehner violating the rule, some conservatives such as David Frum are urging Boehner to completely ditch the rule to make the House less dysfunctional. Could this strategy help in the debt ceiling deal?
After the fiscal cliff deal passed, former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) told Fox News Radio that “maybe you can do it once, maybe you can do it twice, but when you start making deals, when you have to get Democrats to pass the legislation, you are not in power anymore.”
Here are five of the 56 House Republicans who voted for Katrina relief but against Sandy relief. Daily Kos has the full list of Republicans who voted for Katrina aid but against Sandy aid.
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