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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.

Photo by “ma neeks” via Flickr.com

Louie Gohmert (R-TX)

Gohmert voted yes on a $50 billion supplemental bill after Katrina, but he voted no for $51 billion in federal disaster relief for Sandy victims.

Photo credit: Associated Press

Darrell Issa (R-CA)

Issa said the Sandy relief bill was “filled with pork,” prompting this response from New York Democrat Charles Schumer:

“I’d like Darrell Issa to tell the taxpayers of New York…who are all caught up in this horrible storm that they don’t need help — that this is pork.”

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

John Mica (R-FL)

“They porked it down thinking they could pull one over on the House of Representatives,” said Mica, on why he voted no on providing disaster relief funding to help Sandy-ravaged residents of the Northeast.

Photo credit: US Government via Wikimedia Commons

Paul Ryan (R-WI)

 

Daily Show host Jon Stewart blasted Ryan for voting against the initial Sandy relief bill, saying “this is just a simple down the middle, black and white, cut and dried, warm cup of what would Jesus or any other human being that is not an a–hole do, and you blew it.”

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Joe Wilson (R-SC)

“The compassion, generosity, and solidarity of the American people during difficult times are one of our most cherished blessings as citizens of our great nation,” Wilson said after the Katrina relief bill passed the House. “As we now face the severity of this historic natural disaster, Americans must do what we do best: help each other.”

Wilson voted against Sandy relief.

Photo credit: US Government via Wikimedia Commons

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)


Twitter has restricted access to a tweet posted Monday by Rep. Matt Gaetz, in which the Florida Republican called for what commenters described as extrajudicial killings of protesters.

"Now that we clearly see Antifa as terrorists, can we hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East?" Gaetz tweeted, joining Donald Trump and other Republicans in blaming anti-fascists for the violence across the country at protests over the death of George Floyd.

Floyd, an unarmed black man, died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for eight minutes, even as Floyd said he could not breathe. Autopsies have found that Floyd died of asphyxia.While Gaetz's tweet is still up, users have to click on it to see its contents. It's covered by a box that reads, "This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public's interest for the Tweet to remain accessible."

Democratic lawmakers called out Gaetz in response to the tweet and urged Twitter to remove it from the social media platform.

"Take the Gaetz tweet down right now @twitter. RIGHT NOW," Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) tweeted Monday night. "The survivors of mass shootings are lighting up my phone. They are scared to death this will inspire someone to start shooting into a crowd tonight. They are right."

After Twitter took action against his tweet, Gaetz said, "Their warning is my badge of honor."

"Antifa is a terrorist organization, encouraging riots that hurt Americans. Our government should hunt them down. Twitter should stop enabling them. I'll keep saying it," Gaetz said in a tweet that he pinned to the top of his profile page.

Donald Trump has demanded that the antifa movement be labeled a domestic terrorist organization.

However, as factcheck.org noted, "There is no such official federal designation for domestic terrorism organizations." Even if such a designation existed, the site said, it would be "difficult or questionable" to categorize antifa in that manner because it is not an organized group with a hierarchy and leadership.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.