Meeks called the Republicans who voted against Sandy aid “mean spirited…”
Meeks told Alex Witt on MSNBC on Saturday:
“It may be some within the Republican Party who are so mean-spirited that they don’t want to move forward to help individuals who happen to be, maybe, some say, because they’re from the blue states.”
The small tranche of aid — $9 billion for flood insurance claims — finally passed on Friday after a storm of criticism (no pun intended) hit Republicans, including from some of their own, led by NJ Gov. Chris Christie, for opposing the full $60 billion aid package for the northeast victims of the superstorm. Why Speaker John Boehner tabled the bill in the first place is still a head scratcher. It would have been far easier to jam through the whole bill, all at once, right after the fiscal cliff vote, than to break it up the way he has — which will force his caucus to walk the plank not once, not twice, but probably three times, since the next vote, on January 15th, is for just another part of the bill, not the whole thing.
Meeks called his GOP colleagues “mean spirited,” but he could just as easily have called them hypocrites. Because not only are New York and New Jersey donor states, putting much more into the federal treasury than they take out of it, unlike southern states, who have been on the federal dole for decades … they also have routinely given money to southern and western (read Republican) states when they have been in need. And people like Paul Ryan have been only too happy to help themselves to federal aid when their states and districts needed it.
And Forbes — yes, Forbes — adds this:
The $9.7 billion—which represents only a small portion of $60 billion pork laden bill passed by the United States Senate—came free of any questionable additions as the money was specifically designated to fund the insurance program so that legitimate claims can be paid— and nothing else.
However, that did not stop 67 Republican members of the House from voting against the legislation while the legislation received 100 percent support from House Democrats.
While it is not particularly remarkable that there would be members of the Republican caucus who would vote against honoring the obligations of the United States government (they are, after all, threatening to disavow debt that we’ve already promised to pay if we don’t do what they say in making budget cuts), what shocks even an old cynic such as myself are those Members who had the extraordinary nerve to cast a ‘no’ vote despite recently pleading for the very same relief when voters in their own districts were under water or picking up the pieces of their lives following a devastating tornado.
Members like Missouri Republican Sam Graves who—just two years ago—begged President Obama for an emergency declaration freeing up big time federal bucks to aid the people in his home district in their hour of need following a severe natural disaster.
And what do you imagine the money was for?
Here is what Congressman Graves had to say when it was his neighbors who were under water:
“I urge the President to approve this assistance without delay. Many communities along the river have been stretched to the limit preparing for and fighting this unprecedented flood.”
Yes…he really said that.
And yet, today, the Congressman voted to deny similar aid to the victims of Sandy.
There’s much more. Read it here.