September 3, 2017
Whether it’s hurricane damage, infrastructural upgrades, or drug abuse, Republicans love opposing government until they need it. Click below to hear this week’s “Pat Political Point” from WSGW’s First Day.
Hurricane Harvey left a large American city in ruins. The storm’s devastation will be felt for years to come. When all is said and done, the state of Texas will have used billions and billions of American taxpayer dollars to rebuild.
And I’m fine with that.
The hurricane dropped an unbelievable amount of rain, and it will take the citizens years of financial help and intestinal fortitude to recover.
They deserve our help, and should get it.
Just like those Americans who were punished by Hurricane Sandy, Americans living in Texas and Louisiana are counting on the government to help.
I say that because I’m reminded when Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz expressed his enthusiasm for Hurricane Sandy victims. That’s when Cruz helped spearhead a spending package to provide aid to our East Coast brothers and sisters.
Except, Ted Cruz didn’t spearhead any effort to provide aid to Hurricane Sandy victims back in 2013.
Actually, Cruz spearheaded an effort to block Hurricane Sandy aid.
Congress passed two Hurricane Sandy relief bills in 2013. One House bill provided just under $10 billion, and it won large bipartisan support. Strangely, eight House Republicans voted against it. That bill passed the Senate on a voice vote.
The second bill originally totaled $60 billion. This is the bill that Senator Cruz, and his fellow Texas Senator John Cornyn, decided to fight against it. The bill’s funding dropped to $50 billion thanks to Cruz and Cornyn’s opposition.
Cruz defended his actions by saying the bill was loaded with pork projects. Of course, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reported that most of the bill’s spending was directly going to help Sandy relief, but don’t let the truth get in Cruz’s way.
But let’s say a quarter of the aid package contained pork projects. So what? That’s not the time to get political.
Oh, it was a perfect time for Ted Cruz and other right wingers to get political. You see, it wasn’t their constituents who were without homes, or whose businesses were destroyed.
Besides, Sandy hit blue states. Should we really care about them, anyway?
Fast-forward to now.
Cruz and his buddies are speaking a different tune. You bet they are. They need our help, and are willing to pass whatever bill passes Congress. If not, their constituents will throw them into the Gulf Of Mexico!
Let’s also be truthful about disaster relief bills.
Not only should they work to provide immediate support, like temporary homes, food, water, and the rebuilding of houses. These bills should also serve to help improve the infrastructure.
The so-called “pork” many of these congressional right wingers opposed in the Sandy Aid package actually was designed to help future natural disasters.
For example, money was set aside to improve the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s weather-gathering abilities.
That makes sense since more accurate weather forecasting would save lives.
It makes sense, unless you’re Ted Cruz, I suppose.
It’s up to the media to call-out guys like Cruz who won’t dare try to block Hurricane Harvey bills. It’s up to them to ask why he’s suddenly changing his tune by advocating immediate help for his constituents.
New York Republican Congressman Peter King said New Yorkers won’t let Texans down. It was a backhanded swipe at those so-called “principled” Texas Republicans.
Shouldn’t improving our infrastructure for the changing climate be a higher priority than providing massive tax breaks for rich people or a stupid wall?
It seems we’re more occupied by banning transgender Americans from joining the military or using bathrooms!
We can do this on the cheap. Doing things on the cheap is what got Governor Snyder and his administration in deep trouble regarding the Flint Water Crisis!
Hurricane Harvey’s path of destruction put a spotlight on Republican hypocrisy.
Oppose programs or regulations, until those programs affect you. Then, you’re suddenly all for those programs or regulations.
Oppose hurricane spending one minute, but then when a hurricane hits you, advocate hurricane relief spending.
Advocate drug policies that put millions of Americans in prisons. But then when opiate addiction sweeps through your district, you’re suddenly compassionate about finding ways to combat it rather than jailing addicts.
It’s funny how that works.
And I have a final prediction: The more climate change destroys our cities, the more these climate change deniers will quickly covet federal assistance to upgrade infrastructure in order to save lives.
Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until most Republicans are personally affected to reach that day.