Disaster Relief For Me But Not For Thee

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Republican legislators vote against federal disaster aid for other states and then, when a disaster hits their state, demand federal money and find it unimaginable that anyone would vote against it. This time it’s Colorado.

But the four Republican Congressmen who are now supporting disaster relief for their own state were among those voting earlier this year against the emergency aid funding for Superstorm Sandy victims on the East Coast.

Colorado Republican Reps. Mike Coffman, Cory Gardner, Doug Lamborn, and Scott Tipton joined their delegation in asking the president to send emergency funds to help their constituents combat and recover from the more than 14 inches of rain that have flooded Colorado this month.

All four also signed onto a July 10, 2013 letter from the entire delegation to President Obama asking him for a federal major disaster declaration for summer wildfires. Their request noted that such a declaration would “provide urgently needed resources and support to the state, communities, and especially the families who have been uprooted by these wildfires.”

But back in January, a vote in the House of Representatives provided $50 billionin Sandy relief, yet among those voting against the bill were Coffman, Gardner, Lamborn, and Tipton. Their opposition stemmed, in part, because they weunable to steer some of the Sandy aid to their own state. Though he had himself sought disaster aid after damages from Colorado wildfires in June 2012, Lamborn even voted against a smaller $9 billion emergency Sandy relief bill 11 days earlier.

This is a repeat from Hurricane Sandy, the Oklahoma tornadoes, Hurricane Katrina and virtually every other disaster in the last few decades.

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  • unbound

    Any chance that one or more of the idiot quartet was talking about states funding their own disaster relief? Just looking to see how deep the hypocrisy goes….

  • a miasma of incandescent plasma

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

    OK. Stop.

    But the four Republican Congressmen who are now supporting disaster relief for their own state were among those voting earlier this year against the emergency aid funding for Superstorm Sandy victims on the East Coast.

    Siiiiigh… you’re still going, aren’t you?!

    Well obviously there’s a huge difference. God hit NJ because of their homo-marriage stuff, you see – God will use storms to make his messages clear. But the flooding in CO is totally different because God’s never used a flood for anything like punishing sin.

  • zero6ix

    I say grant their wishes. But as an added bonus, any time someone of their ilk cries foul about disaster relief going to some other state for some other reason, they should play recordings of any previous requests for aid. Seriously. Take five minutes out of their day, and replay their bitter tears for all to see. Then ask why they get money, and no one else does.

  • “Other states will just waste this money, taken from good, hardworking Americans, on pork. It’s supposed to be a disaster relief fund, not a disaster relief hammock! Why, just the other day, there was another state in line ahead of me at the grocery store blowing it’s federal disaster relief funding on T-bone steaks! And it’s stories like that that made me put forward this bill to cut funding for disaster relief to states other than mine.”

  • Larry

    And in a related news story, GOP reps voting to slash food stamps for the poor continue to rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars in government farm subsidies.

    The hypocrisy of the GOPers is unbounded.

  • Chiroptera

    Moduspoerandi, #4:

    If you’d add the part where you follow them into the parking lot and see them drive off in a brand new BMW, then you’d have it down perfectly.

  • Golly whilikers, it IS different when it’s a pristine mountain environment we’re talkin’ bout, ‘steadasome urban shithole like Nawlinz!

    I want those people to get everything that they need. I’d just like for them to be “means tested” first; and furnish a few paystubs/proof that they’re self-employed and have no bankruptcies in their past. Okay, then, let’s proceed. Oh, btw, sir, that cup we gave you when you got in line? It’s NOT for coffee, ‘kay?

  • Chiroptera

    But I think that Colorado residents should be tested for drugs before they’re eligible for disaster relief.

  • Chiroptera

    Oops. Democommie beat me to that one.

  • caseloweraz

    The blog ColoradoPols has this to say on the subject (emphasis in original):

    The stripping of funds for Colorado flood mitigation–by Gardner’s fellow House Republicans, don’t forget–was a bipartisan sore point for our local representatives, but it didn’t stop the Democrats in the Colorado delegation from voting for the final Sandy aid bill. Other Republicans like Rep. Doug Lamborn voted against the Sandy relief bill on ideological grounds that had little to do with provisions for local funding. With that said, the reality of Republican control of the House today means that Rep. Gardner, arguably the most influential Republican member of the Colorado delegation, is going to play a key role in obtaining federal aid for Colorado to recover from this disaster. The fact is, Colorado is likely going to need a comprehensive relief bill: not as many billions as was required for Hurricane Sandy, but Gardner has likely only delivered the first piece of what will ultimately be needed.

    Bottom line: there is a justifiable and plain question of hypocrisy here, especially in the greater context of the fiscal debate in Washington. It is plainly hypocritical to vote against disaster relief for others, then expect it when you need it for your own constituents. In the larger debate over the role of government at all levels throughout America today, there are many such hypocrisies.

    But for today, with Colorado citizens desperately in need, Gardner will be allowed to defer those hard questions.


    But, predictably, the state’s conservative blog disputes this account:


    It rails against pork ($150 million for fisheries in Alaska) and notes that Gardner’s amendment asking $125 million for Colorado watershed protection was voted down. In this one respect, I think it may have a point. But it avoids the larger picture, including the eight amendments offered by Paul Broun of Georgia to strip billions of clearly defensible funding. (All eight failed.)

  • Alverant

    So if extra pork was stuck in this bill for Colorado, then their reps will vote against it?

    I don’t think so. It’s like the teabagger’s budget that defunds healthcare reform, they know it won’t work but will do it anyway for PR points.

  • chilidog99

    I bet these idiots ALSO voted to shut down the government as well.

    Cry me a river

  • And in a related news story, GOP reps voting to slash food stamps for the poor continue to rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars in government farm subsidies.

    The hypocrisy of the GOPers is unbounded.

    It’s perfectly consistent if they see themselves, and those of their socio-economic class and cultural affiliations, as being more deserving than other people.

    We tend to see it as hypocrisy because to our minds it’s the lesser sin.

  • Trebuchet

    Since the flooding is centered around liberal Boulder, I’m surprised even Colorado Republicans are in favor of relief.

  • Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Of course, any rugged individualists who built their log cabins at the edge of a stream in the mountains totally are taking responsibility for that decision and don’t want any help, right? Right?

  • Ichthyic

    I bet these idiots ALSO voted to shut down the government as well.

    that’s a safe bet.

    IIRC, only 2 house republicans voted against it, if it was even that high.

  • A Wandering Minstrel

    Trebuchet @14

    Markita Lynda–threadrupt @15

    The South Platte flooded a giant swath through the northern part of Gardner’s district.

    Also, more than 1,900 square miles have flooded, from Colorado Springs to the northern border with Wyoming and Nebraska (actually, one map I looked at today puts the flood crest in Nebraska today), and the Continental Divide almost out to Colorado’s eastern border with Nebraska. This isn’t exclusively a “Boulder” event, so please don’t dismiss those of us outside of Boulder, especially given that in most of the affected cities on the plains, the neighborhoods along the rivers tend to be poor neighborhoods housing people who won’t be able to rebuild. I’ve already had students withdrawn to move elsewhere to live with extended family because their immediate families won’t be able to rebuild.