CNN, MSNBC Challenge Cruz on Hurricane Sandy Relief Vote Amid Harvey Devastation

Marie Harrington
August 30, 2017

Now to me that's interesting, because many of their members, including their senator, voted against the very same aid for the people who suffered under Sandy.

The contentious flood program went through 17 temporary extensions and four lapses during legislative disputes from 2008 to 2012. Now Houston is facing worsening flooding as Harvey, now a tropical storm, continues to dump more rain on the city in the coming days. "It's not really political sniping, Senator".

"We will help those affected by this bad disaster".

Mr. Cruz said he's grateful for the leadership that local and state officials have shown in the preparation and aftermath of the devastating storm, and that he's thankful for assurances from President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence that "full federal assistance" is ready for the recovery process.

Rep. Donald Norcross, D-1st of Camden, said he also would support disaster funding for Texas.

An early aid package could be attached to a temporary spending bill to prevent a government shutdown October 1. He added that "appreciation" at the end of the day "is what matters most".

Cruz's office did not respond to multiple requests for comment on work he's doing related to the disaster bill. Many government operations are only funded through the end of September, and Trump has threatened to partially shut down the government if lawmakers don't approve $1.6 billion in funding to construct parts of a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.

Trump has signaled he is prepared for a fight over the funding should it not include seed money for the wall that he wants built on the USA border with Mexico. "I think this is separate".

It's still unclear how the conservative Texas delegation will approach disaster funding when it affects their region. In 2005, Pence, who was then a congressman from IN, led an effort called Operation Offset aimed at requiring deep spending cuts to pay for Hurricane Katrina relief.

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"Even though I'm sure there is going to be some temptation by New Jersey House members in particular to drag their feet a little bit based on what these folks in Texas did to us during Sandy, I am going to be urging all our members to rise above that and provide the aid as quickly as possible", Christie said.

Lawmakers provided $110 billion to rebuild the Gulf Coast after Katrina. The Bush administration, politically scalded by criticism over its botched response, signed off on the aid.

He also noted how emergency and law enforcement agencies came from around the country to help New Jersey during Superstorm Sandy almost five years ago. And when Congress soon begins working on the Hurricane Harvey aid package, it is a safe bet that few Texas Republicans will be wailing that it is larded with unnecessary extravagances.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was particularly appreciative of the help and announced that NJ Task Force 1, comprised of police, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel - are in Katy, Texas, a suburb approximately 30 miles (48.3 km) west of Houston.

"Despite my Texas colleagues' refusal to support aid in South Jersey's time of need, I will support emergency disaster (aid) for those impacted".

Republican Frank LoBiondo is in agreement.

"As Americans, we come together during times of crisis and today New Jersey's heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the people of Texas at this very hard time.During superstorm Sandy, emergency and law enforcement response contingents from around the country came to our aid", Mr Christie said in a statement.

Cruz was also asked about voting against the Hurricane Sandy disaster relief package back in 2012.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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