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The Republican Ideology: Do Not Give, But Take All You Can

January 6th, 2013
Guess what? 67 Republican House members voted against federal aid for Hurricane Sandy. Appropriately called “a bunch of jackasses” by former New York Senator Al D’Amato, these pearls of human compassion come predominantly from states that have gotten far more than their share of federal assistance, and many are absolute experts at begging for disaster aid. The states most heavily represented in the GOP anti-aid block are Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Arizona has made 8 major disaster declarations for FEMA aid over the past ten years, and has requested aid from FEMA on more than 30 other occasions over the same time period. Georgia, which also made many major disaster and other declarations to FEMA, received $300 million in federal mortgage relief aid, and kept 95% of it, as they have similarly tucked away hundreds of millions of federal dollars which were supposed to have been spent on highway projects. North Carolina must have forgotten that it begged for and got federal aid after Hurricane Irene hit, while South Carolina, which receives $1.35 per tax dollar paid and has begged for federal relief for droughts and other disasters, has also tucked away hundreds of millions of federal aid dollars intended for mortgage aid. Tennessee, still the proud home of the Tennessee Valley Authority, gets $12 billion a year in federal spending, ranking 7th per capita, and 12th in federal aid received by state, and has made 12 major disaster declarations to FEMA in just the past three years alone. Texas, meanwhile, received billions in federal aid after Hurricane Ike in 2008 and blasted the federal government for a slow response. In fact, Texas tops the national list of FEMA disaster applications, with a total of 332. Not long ago, Republican senators tried to block a larger overall bill for Sandy relief:
…since 1989, states represented by senators who voted against the package have been among the biggest beneficiaries of a similar pot of money: the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which nationwide has provided at least $8 billion to help states recovering from disasters prepare to face future catastrophe.
Mississippi Rep. Steven Palazzo, meanwhile, who voted against aid for Sandy because it was not “paid for,” just 6 months ago cheered federal aid being granted to his own district in response to Hurricane Isaac. Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs, Colorado, begged the feds for extra FEMA spending following a summer fire in 2012—just two months after he tried to pass legislation limiting the aid, and six months before denying it to Sandy victims. Many are trying to claim that Democrats loaded the bill up with “pork,” a demonstrably false claim. Here is a list of the 67 who voted “no,” by state, with contact phone numbers:
Mo Brooks (Ala.) (202) 225-4801 Trent Franks (Ariz.) (202) 225-4576 Paul Gosar (Ariz.) (202) 225-2315 Matt Salmon (Ariz.) (202) 225-2635 David Schweikert (Ariz.) (202) 225-2190 Tom Cotton (Ark.) (202) 225-3772 Tom McClintock (Calif.) (202) 225-2511 Ed Royce (Calif.) (202) 225-4111 Doug Lamborn (Colo.) (202) 225-4422 Ron DeSantis (Fla.) (202) 225-2706 Ted Yoho (Fla.) (202) 225-5744 Doug Collins (Ga.) (202) 225-9893 Tom Graves (Ga.) (202) 225-5211 Paul Broun (Ga.) (202) 225-4101 Tom Price (Ga.) (202) 225-4501 Rob Woodall (Ga.) (202) 225-4272 Randy Hultgren (Ill.) (202) 225-2976 Marlin Stutzman (Ind.) (202) 225-4436 Todd Rokita (Ind.) (202) 225-5037 Lynn Jenkins (Kan.) (202) 225-6601 Tim Huelskamp (Kan.) (202) 225-2715 Mike Pompeo (Kan.) (202) 225-6216 Kevin Yoder (Kan.) (202) 225-2865 Garland Barr (Ky.) (202) 225-4706 Thomas Massie (Ky.) (202) 225-3465 John Fleming (La.) (202) 225-2777 Andy Harris (Md.) (202) 225-5311 Justin Amash (Mich.) (202) 225-3831 Dan Benishek (Mich.) (202) 225-4735 Kerry Bentivolio (Mich.) (202) 225-8171 Steven Palazzo (Miss.) (202) 225-5772 Sam Graves (Mo.) (202) 225-7041 Steve Daines (Mont.) (202) 225-3211 Steve Pearce (N.M.) (202) 225-2365 George Holding (N.C.) (202) 225-3032 Richard Hudson (N.C.) (202) 225-3715 Mark Meadows (N.C.) (202) 225-6401 Virginia Foxx (N.C.) (202) 225-2071 Brad Wenstrup (Ohio) (202) 225-3164 Jim Jordan (Ohio)(202) 225-2676 Steve Chabot (Ohio) (202) 225-2216 Markwayne Mullin (Okla.) (202) 225-2701 Jim Bridenstine (Okla.) (202) 225-2211 Keith Rothfus (Pa.) (202) 225-2065 Scott Perry (Pa.) (202) 225-2565 Jeff Duncan (S.C.) (202) 225-5301 Joe Wilson (S.C.) (202) 225-2452 Mick Mulvaney (S.C.) (202) 225-5501 Trey Gowdy (S.C.) (202) 225-6030 Louie Gohmert (Texas) (202) 225-3035 Michael Conaway (Texas) (202) 225-3605 Randy Neugebauer (Texas) (202) 225-4005 Mac Thornberry (Texas) (202) 225-3706 Randy Weber (Texas) (202) 225-2831 Roger Williams (Texas) (202) 225-9896 Bill Flores (Texas) (202) 225-6105 Kenny Marchant (Texas) (202) 225-6605 Phil Roe (Tenn.)(202) 225-6356 Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) (202) 225-2811 Scott DesJarlais (Tenn.) (202) 225-6831 John Duncan (Tenn.) (202) 225-5435 Stephen Fincher (Tenn.) (202) 225-4714 Bob Goodlatte (Va.) (202) 225-5431 Tom Petri (Wis.) (202) 225-2476 Paul Ryan (Wis.) (202) 225-3031 Sean Duffy (Wis.) (202) 225-3365 Jim Sensenbrenner (Wis.) (202) 225-5101
  1. Troy
    January 6th, 2013 at 18:13 | #1

    If you’re not in their district, Congress people could care less what you think.

    Every Republican Representative is deathly afraid of getting primaried out by a Tea Party type in next year’s low-turnout off-year primary, so what they do fear is the most radical and/or misinformed Republican in their district. That person has the real power over them, given our crappy political system and media environment.

    And in the larger analysis, if we’re not going to follow the Japan example, we’ve got to do one of two things, or some combination: raise taxes and/or cut spending.

    The Republicans DO NOT want to raise taxes any more. Democrats don’t want to either, other than some more marginal pain on the top 5-10% which isn’t enough to fix the deficit.

    We could double corporate taxes now, but that’s not on the table apparently.

    That leaves spending cuts, but the problem with spending cuts is electorates send Congress people to bring back money for their district, not cut money from it.

    What an unfixable mess. I don’t know how this is going to end and I wish I were 7 time zones away again so I didn’t have to think about it so much.

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