Hurricane Sandy Relief

OK, well this is Jon Stewart at his most caustic.  So try to discount the emotion a bit, and analyze the underlying issues.  Why DID 67 Republicans vote against the Hurricane Sandy relief bill that came up last Friday?  If it wasn’t about an objection to pork barrel spending, what was the reason for their vote?  This may require you to do some research, but it would be worth it for someone to come up with an explanation that clearly Stewart does not have.

8 responses to “Hurricane Sandy Relief”

  1. benjamin1 says :

    It would seem that the reason for these 67 votes is the national budget, rather than pork barrel spending. A spokeswoman for Steven Palazzo, (Palazzo, the Mississippi congressman cited in the clip), stated “on the heels of a fiscal cliff deal that added $4 trillion to our existing $16 trillion national debt, we must ensure that disaster relief is paid for,” (meaning not that the relief must be granted, but that there have to be funds for it, before it is paid). Most of the representatives claim to have been making a statement against adding to the deficit with their votes, “statement” being the key word. The fact that it was only 67 votes, shows that this bill of roughly 9 billion dollars, (a small sum compared to the 60 billion of so that is still in question), was going to pass regardless of these few reps’ votes. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that most of them were acting in protest, as apposed to opposition to the cause.

  2. roryblock1 says :

    I found a lot of the same stuff that Ben said–particularly about Steven Palazzo. Articles stated that he voted FOR Katrina relief back in ’05. So while his spokewoman is saying he supports the idea of relief for Sandy but he doesn’t think their are sufficient funds for it, perhaps there’s another underlying reason that has to do with pork barrel spending. Paul Ryan of WI expressly said that “he voted no because of “pork” in the bill”. Many of the republicans who voted no were southern or western or in an area NOT affected. Why should they vote for their consituents money to go to one particular area? Well, because it’s the right thing to do of course. But in Washington, the “right thing” is often on the backburner to “whats best for me and my district”.

  3. andreaj7 says :

    After doing some research about the topic, I found that some explain the reason why 67 Republicans voted against the Hurricane Sandy relief bill was because of the federal governments already “bloated” budget. But my question is why this budget wasn’t a problem during Hurricane Katrina? Additionally, porkbarrel spending can be defined as federally funded appropriations that benefit specific constituents, created with the aim of helping local representatives win reelection. How does this bill contain porkbarrel spending? The bill would not benefit specific constituents but the people who need relief because their houses and businesses were destroyed by the storm.

  4. natek7 says :

    Most of the sources I saw that were talking about this story said the 67 Republicans voted against the Sandy Relief bill because it had too much pork. Some of the representatives questioned the need to send money to “Alaskan fisheries and new roofs for the Smithsonian museum”. I agree with Andrea that it doesn’t make sense that the Hurricane Katrina relief bill, which was 51.8 billion dollars, passed the house 410-11 while the National Flood Insurance Program bill, which was 9 billion, passed the house 354-67.

  5. Paul1 says :

    I agree that Ben brings up a valid point that the negative votes were in protest. What I find most intriguing is that after a bit of research, I found a few sources citing the “hypocrites” who voted against the Sandy relief bill, despite supporting, applauding, or requesting disaster aid within the last few years.

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/01/07/1407641/37-congressional-republicans-opposed-sandy-relief-after-supporting-disaster-aid-for-home-states/

    The above link is to one of the sites I found on the subject, and while it is certainly not without a bias, most of the links on the page lead directly to politicians’ own websites.

    I also find it interesting that 18 of those who voted against the relief bill were new members of Congress (there are 29 total new/first term Republican representatives in Congress.) Could this be an early attempt to show party loyalty, or to prove that they are fiscally conservative? This may be a stretch, but there has been talk of Paul Ryan making a Presidential bid in 2016, and voting with him (against the bill) could be an attempt to give newer members a advantage if that does happen.

  6. Christina4 says :

    The hypocrisy is pretty outstanding and obviously those who voted against the bill in the House only favor spending when they are benefitting. I think attaching pork barrel spending to an aid bill such as this one would end the career of a poltician if discovered by the entire media, not just Fox News. So, I feel, the blocking of the larger aid bill is just a sad example of a lack of knowledge of the legislation by many House Republicans.

  7. Nick4 says :

    As we can see by Chris Christie’s response to the bill not being passed, the Republican party was clearly not in agreement on what should be done. While there is clearly more to the rejection of the bill than just ideology, another possibility is that Republicans were still pissed at Christie for apparently helping Obama win reelection after his work with the President in the aftermath of Sandy. While it’s unsettling to think that one party would reject aide to millions of people simply because of a single person or even because the states the bill pertained to were blue, it’s a possibility. However, the issue with the blue states vs. red states is that there are still many parts of New York and New Jersey that lean right. For example, the majority of people in Ocean City, one of the hardest hit places, voted for Romney. This is true for some other counties affected by Sandy as well. The shows the fault in the political system. If a party votes against something simply because it helps the other party, something is wrong. But if they don’t realize the the help is actually going to members of their own party, there’s something deeply wrong.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: