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September 17, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

GOP hypocrisy in skipping Sandy aid

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Look up the word hypocrisy in the dictionary and you will see a picture of 31 GOP senators.

The U.S. Senate recently voted 62-36 to give disaster relief to the Sandy Relief Fund. In 2005, the Senate vote on Katrina relief was 97-0.

The 36 no votes were all Republican. Thirty-one of those no votes came from Republicans who had requested disaster relief in past years. When Joplin, Mo., was hit with that horrific tornado two years ago, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., requested that the federal government pay 100 percent of the cost.

Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., and Pat Toomey, R-Penn., both requested relief help from the federal government for the damage Sandy had done to their state but voted no on the relief legislation.

Recently, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal called the GOP the “stupid party.” He could add that they are also the party of hypocrites.

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  1. I don't recall if the Katrina aid legislation contained a bunch of unrelated spending, but I read that the Sandy aid bill did. I suspect both disaster relief bills contained large amounts of unrelated spending.

    If both bills did contain unrelated spending, Republicans should be criticized for approving the Katrina aid and saying nothing about the unrelated spending and Democrats should be criticized for approving the Sandy aid and saying nothing about the unrelated spending.

    I am often criticized for the 'equivalency' I point to regarding the parties, but the fact that both parties routinely engage in packing specific, targeted legislation with unrelated spending that could probably not be approved if it stood alone is a huge problem and both parties are responsible for it.

    Michael

  2. Hypocrisy is no stranger to the GOP. It's their modus operandi.

    The House of Representatives could easily have crafted their own bill for Hurricane Sandy relief. What did they do? Exactly nothing! Perhaps they were too busy naming Post Offices to initiate any aid. Even upon receipt of the Senate Bill late in the lame-duck session, they could have removed any offending parts of that bill and returned it to the Senate. Instead, they did nothing. Their apparent priority was preserving income tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans and not those Americans who suffered the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

  3. GOP stands for "Get rid of the pork." It took political courage to vote against the Sandy aid bill both times. It's called guts. It sent the right message to the American people and the political pork specialists in the Senate like Harry Reid. Too bad the letter writer didn't get it. BTW, recall at the same time, Reid and the Senate Democrats caved on the filibuster reform. They gave up ground in the Senate parliamentary procedures to the GOP, despite the Senate Democratic majority.

    CarmineD

  4. The original $60.4 billion recovery package passed in the senate was loaded with pork. Only $9 billion of the $60 billion would have been spent in 2013. That means 85% doesn't come until 2014 and beyond. Is that immediate relief? No, it's your sign the bill was chocked full of pork.

  5. Blanner is merely another leftist who fudges the facts and omits pertinent information that does not jibe with his leftist agenda. The "help" for Sandy Hook victims was loaded with pork. Blanner and his ilk couldn't care less if the horrific waste in the pig sty known as Washington, DC, goes on forever because, once it stops, they might have to become responsible for their own selves and not on government largess or "goodies." Sooner or later, the gravy trail will derail and the parasitic class will have to learn to swim or they will sink. It's Mother Nature's way of thinning the herd where only the fittest will survive and it will be few on pathetically incapable left.

  6. Here in Easter Washington several of our conservative reps voted against the Sandy.....stewards of the public purse voting against pork. Unfortunately that "pork" included funds for both wildland fire suppression and remediation, reconstruction from the regional windstorm, mitigation of fire risk from lodgepole pine beetle infestation and flood control/riparian area re/construction from past floods. Needless to say that there is some community backlash against these reps and their staff have been making the rounds assuring all and sundry that these votes were "procedural" to keep the President in line and that our loot would be forthcoming. All disaster relief bills contain funds for collateral and other disasters. The President does not declare every wildfire as disaster even though it is to the affected parties, their communities and states. Congress does not provide funding for each and every disaster but does so in toto. maybe we should take the approach that individuals are responsible for their living choices. If you want to live in Tornado Alley then suffer the consequences without help from the rest of us.

  7. So Carmine sez the Republicans voted against the Hurricane Sandy aid bill because of pork. Well, why didn't they take the pork out? They're in the majority. It was their bill that they passed, not the Senate bill.

    It doesn't take guts for 180 Republicans to vote against their own House Bill. It takes stubborness and an indifference to helping the people that need their help.

  8. Freeman

    You don't have the high ground to criticize anyone for partisanship. Mr. Blanner's letter was about hypocrisy, wasn't it? Thanks for providing the demo.

  9. "The REPUBLICANS in the house stripped out an amendment to the bill providing 1.1 BILLION to our embassies for the beefing up of Security at our Diplomatic outposts like Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi." @ Jeff

    "Well, why didn't they take the pork out? They're in the majority. It was their bill that they passed, not the Senate bill." @ Jim Weber

    Jeff:

    State Dept budgets typically request exorbitant amounts for Embassy, Consulate, and outposts worldwide. Congress customarily approves a lesser amount. This is true for all recent security budgets by State Dept. When the State Dept officials were questioned by Congress in September right after the sacking of the Benghazi consulate and CIA annex, and the 4 murders of Americans including Amb Chris Stevens, all confirmed that the budget was not an issue. All confirmed that budget was not the issue in their Congressional testimonies. The ARB report said that the problem was that the security messages sent by Ambassador Stevens to the highest levels of the State dept about the hot spots and terrorists activities in Libya DID not get read and acted on for 9 months. That's not a budget matter. That's a failure of performance matter.

    Jim:

    House did take the pork out of its bill. The Senate didn't. Before a bill can become law Committees in the House and Senate have to reconcile the differences, then pass in joint Committee, then pass on the floors of the full House and Senate. After that, the proposed law goes to the President to sign. That's what happened in the Sandy aid bill.

    CarmineD

  10. As usual a lib doesn't tell the whole truth. The Sandy bill was packed with special interest $$ that had nothing to do with Sandy relief. The GOP voted against it because they are against earmarks.

  11. Carmine -

    The Senate passed H.R. 152: Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 as passed by the House and sent it to the President for signature. I know that gets in the way of your story, but too bad.

  12. JeffFromVegas: You write " A pro-democrat will always try to paint the opposition in a negative light."

    Your bias is obvious. The correct statement is "An avid member of either party will always try to paint the opposition in a negative light."

  13. "Carmine -

    The Senate passed H.R. 152: Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 as passed by the House and sent it to the President for signature. I know that gets in the way of your story, but too bad." @ Jim Weber

    Just the opposite, Jim. It is exactly as I said. The Senate version was scrubbed for the House bill [that's the reconciliation process]. Both Houses of Congress passed the bill; the final bill went to the President for his signature; he signed it and the bill became law.

    Keep in mind before the Senate approved the House bill for Sandy aid, the Senate UNDER HARRY REID caved on filibuster reform and NOW GUARANTEES the GOP have more input into the bills/amendments on the floor. This is the first time since 2007, that Reid has done so. In the past, Reid locked out the GOP from adding any amendments to bills on the Senate floor. It's called "filling the tree." Reid preempted the GOP from doing so over 69 times as Senate Leader.

    Sadly, the mainstream media reported on the Senate Dems, Leader Reid, and filibuster reform ad infinitum. But when the final deal was done, the media barely covered the story about the GOP victory. By all accounts, it was a huge win for the Senate republcians and a defeat for the Dems and Harry Reid.

    CarmineD

  14. "Carmine,

    Even if what you claim about the past was true, which it's not in total true, a way and means to close new or existing gaps in security was killed by republicans because they were cowards.

    Go ahead, say it again: "Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi"

    Feel better now?" @ Jeff

    Your budget facts are just wrong. While the House passed a fiscal year 2012 budget, the Senate and President never did. Consequently, there was no budget for fiscal year 2012. The Federal Government used a stop gap measure called Continuing Resolutions that allowed spending in 2012 at fiscal year 2011 levels and rates. Think budget deal in August 2011 negotiations [Sequestrations] to approve funding through the end of the fiscal year 2011 on September 30, 2011. And since there was no approved fiscal year 2012 budget, we operated under a CR for all fiscal year 2012, ended September 30, 2012. That was extended for fiscal year 2013 on October 1, 2012. It expires on March 27, 2013. And if not extended, and/or another budget deal struck, the US government shuts down and automatic spending cuts go into effect.

    All the myths about the GOP cutting security budgets is just that.

    CarmineD

  15. PS: Jeff if you compare security spending budgets for the Embassies, Consulates and foreign service outposts for the last 4 fiscal years [09, 10, 11, 12] you'll note they fairly level with no increases. Why? Because with little exception, the spending levels of the Federal budgets have been constant since fiscal year 2009. Why? In the absence of approved budgets for 4 years, thanks to the Senate and President, the US has been operating under Continuing Resolutions [CR's]. CR's limit current spending to previous fiscal year levels. 4 years and counting. No approved US fiscal year budgets. Incomprehensible and unbelievable.

    CarmineD

  16. "Hypocricy is the hallmark of the horrible
    republican party." @ Teamster

    I have one Senator's name for you to remember and follow here: Menendez, Dem NJ.

    And while you are at it, Harry Reid too and his commentary and positions on Menendez and his evil doings. Both are hypocrites to the Nth degree.

    CarmineD

  17. Carmine -

    You do realize that when a new Congress takes office, all bills not enacted die. The House of Representatives had no Sandy Senate bill to consider after January 3rd. They enacted H.R.152 (the"H" stands for HOUSE) on January 15th. It was a HOUSE bill! The Senate concurred and passed H. R. 152 without amendment later in January.

    That is what REALLY happened.

  18. "Carmine -

    You do realize that when a new Congress takes office, all bills not enacted die. The House of Representatives had no Sandy Senate bill to consider after January 3rd. They enacted H.R.152 (the"H" stands for HOUSE) on January 15th. It was a HOUSE bill! The Senate concurred and passed H. R. 152 without amendment later in January.

    That is what REALLY happened." Jim Weber

    Jim:

    The unpassed bills are alive for the full term of the House and Senate. After a new term begins, the bills, if dead, can be reintroduced by actions of the House and Senate members.

    CarmineD

  19. "They enacted H.R.152 (the"H" stands for HOUSE) on January 15th. It was a HOUSE bill! The Senate concurred and passed H. R. 152 without amendment later in January." Jim Weber

    Agree. Without the Senate pork! Thanks to the GOP in the House and Senate.

    CarmineD

  20. FYI Jim et al:

    "Legislatures give bills numbers as they progress.

    In the United States, all bills originating in the House of Representatives begin with "H.R." and all bills originating from the Senate begin with an "S.". Every two years, at the start of odd-numbered years, the United States Congress recommences numbering from 1. This means that two different bills can have the same number. Each two-year span is called a congress, and each congress is divided into year-long periods called sessions."

    CarmineD

  21. JeffFromVegas: You were indeed quoting Freeman. I stand (sit??) corrected. I've already identified, to my satisfaction, Freeman's point of view. . .