by Carl, 01/17/2013, 8:05 AM

Looking at the House vote for Sandy relief, I noticed that Doc Hastings and Cathy McMorris Rodgers voted against it. It’s morally abhorrent to see another part of the country devastated, and first to take this amount of time to help, and then to vote against it. It also seems pretty short sighted.

I can’t imagine any Northeast politician giving them help the next time there’s a wildland fire in Eastern Washington. For that matter, I can’t imagine any Northeastern politician giving them any help on anything they want to do. “Oh, you voted against relief for people who are still homeless in my community months after Sandy, here let me help you secure funding for a road” seems like something said by nobody ever.

36 Responses to “When Eastern Washington Needs It”

1. Serial conservative spews:

Or maybe their ‘Nay’ votes were a protest against all the shit in the bill that didn’t help the people in the area devastated by the storm.

2. Serial conservative spews:

•$2 million to repair damage to the roofs of museums in Washington, D.C., while many in Hurricane Sandy’s path still have no roof over their own heads.

•$150 million for fisheries as far away from the storm’s path as Alaska.

•$125 million for the Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Watershed Protection program, which helps restore watersheds damaged by wildfires and drought.

•$20 million for a nationwide Water Resources Priorities Study.

•$15 million for NASA facilities, though NASA itself has called its damage from the hurricane ‘minimal.’

•$50 million in subsidies for tree planting on private properties.

•$336 million for taxpayer-supported AMTRAK without any detailed plan for how the money will be spent.

•$5.3 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers – more than the Corps’ annual budget – with no statement of priorities about how to spend the money.

•$12.9 billion for future disaster mitigation activities and studies, without identifying a single way to pay for it.

Never let a crisis go to waste.

3. rhp6033 spews:

The Army Corps of Engineers has wide responsibility over ports and navigable waterways within the U.S. It’s not hard to imagine a lot of work which will need to be done to ports and waterways in the New York/New Jersey region as a result of Hurricane Sandy, even if it’s just clearing and dredging debris from channels.

Also, some of the items not directly linked to the bill are probably Congressional earmarks placed in the bill to placate specific Congressmen (mostly Republicans) to get the bill to pass the house.

Serial’s attempts at deflection are his only recourse in an attempt to defend indefensable Republican conduct.

Everyone knows that Republicans who voted against the bill will campaign for re-election by arguing that they voted against billions in government spending (without identifying it as Sandy relief). In the more backwards districts, they might proudly proclaim their vote against Sandy relief bills, claiming that their constituants in Eastern Washington (or other rural areas) “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps”, and the minorities and liberals in New York City and eastern New Jersey should do the same.

4. Serial conservative spews:

@ 3

Actually, FEMA was given nearly $10B by Congressional vote earlier in the month – that money went right into the flood insurance program. Not a whole lot of objection to that direct, targeted infusion.

It’s the blanket handout of money without specific direction as to how it will be spent, and the handout of money in areas not affected by the storm as ‘emergency’ aid, without accountability as to how it will be spent or where the money will come from, that many in the GOP found unacceptable.

5. Steve spews:

“I can’t imagine any Northeast politician giving them help the next time there’s a wildland fire in Eastern Washington.”

What, you imagine NE Democrats descending to the level of wingnuts? I would rather hope they don’t.

6. Serial conservative spews:

@ 5

If it’s a couple of hundred million for direct aid and a few billion larded on for stuff that has nothing to do with what they say they are trying to address, and if it circumvents the normal budgetary process, I would rather hope they do.

7. Steve spews:

Throw out Army Corp and disaster mitigation and you came up with $688 million.

Do you really think it was Democrats who earmarked $150 million for Alaska fisheries?

Now we’re down to $538 million.

Another $2 million for DC damage. You have a beef with damage repair?

We’re down to $536 million.

$50 million in subsidies for tree planting on private properties.

Do you know whether or not this is related to storm damage? No.

Now we’re down to $486 million.

“$336 million for taxpayer-supported AMTRAK”

Do you have a number on how much damage AMTRAK suffered in the storm? No, you have no idea.

Now we’re down to $150 million.

Could there have been watershed damage in the NE? Of course. There goes another $125 million.

What are you really complaining about?

8. Steve spews:

“If it’s a couple of hundred million for direct aid and a few billion larded on for stuff that has nothing to do with what they say they are trying to address”

Exagerate much, or are you just struggling with reality today?

9. Serial conservative spews:

@ 7

I’m not quite sure what number you’re starting with.

I noticed you didn’t address the $12.9B for future stuff.

I’m probably OK with funds for Amtrak if they’re directed, by language in the bill, specifically for storm related damage and not to prop up some subsidy on the other side of the country.

Steve, a clean bill passes, and passes quickly. This was nowhere near clean. For those who complain that this was treated differently than Katrina, I guess I would point out that a whole lot fewer people were unemployed in 2005 than now, and that tax revenues were climbing and not declining in 2005.

10. No Time for Fascists spews:

So sorry Serial Con, those pesky facts are getting in the way of a good partisan outrage rant.

In fact, the damage which that $2 million is intended to fix does not predate the storm. “In all cases, [the funds are for] roof leaks caused by heavy winds and torrential rain,” Linda St. Thomas, a Smithsonian Institution spokeswoman, told me in an email this afternoon. “Hurricane Sandy caused the roof damage which is why we put in the request. In several cases, it exacerbated smaller leaks, in other cases, it caused new leaks.”

In other words, the request for $2 million fits pretty squarely in the definition of “emergency aid.”

“Any water damage is dangerous to the collections,” she explained. “One example, the Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum (near Dulles airport) houses the Discovery shuttle. That building had 27 separate roof leaks that were directly attributable to Hurricane Sandy.”

And that $2 million is being used to repair no less than the following: The Museum of Natural History, the Museum of American History, the Air and Space Museum, several buildings at the National Zoo, and the Museum Support Center in Maryland, which the organization has already “temporarily patched.”

Conservative commentators could almost be forgiven for thinking that, indeed, the $2 million to repair many Smithsonian roofs was an expense that had no business being in the Sandy aid package—if they hadn’t seized on it as a reason to hold up all $51 billion in aid.

11. No Time for Fascists spews:

U.S. House denies funding for fishery disasters in Alaska
Jan 16, 2013

The House passed a $50.7 billion Disaster Relief Appropriations Act Jan. 15, which went only to Hurricane Sandy aid and did not include any of the fisheries disasters declared last fall in Alaska, New England and the Gulf of Mexico.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s spokesman Matthew Felling wrote in an email that the senator was disappointed that resources for Alaska’s federally recognized fisheries disasters were not included in the House disaster bill. “We will seek a new legislative method to deliver the needed funds to our regions and people that need it,” Felling wrote.

“I have no desire to hold up funding for victims of Hurricane Sandy, but I implore my colleagues to remember Alaskans’ plight and that of other disaster victims across the country,” said Sen. Mark Begich in a statement. “The federal government went through its formal process to declare these disasters and has an obligation to provide some relief to victims”

In an email, Congressman Don Young’s Press Secretary Mike Anderson agreed. “Although the fisheries disaster funds for Alaska were not included in the final legislation, Congressman Young will continue to explore any and all avenues to ensure that Alaskans receive funds related to the fishery disaster declared last fall,” Anderson wrote.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski – Republican
Sen. Mark Begich – Democrat
Rep. Don Young – Republican

Sorry Alaska, According to Serial Con, you don’t rate any disaster relief. Welcome to the republican meme of “Tough, you are on your own.” Enjoy your party abandoning you.
Too bad you don’t have the political pull of a Christie, then you might have had a chance.
Maybe it’s republican pay back for electing a democratic senator and an uppity woman beating Tea Bagger candidate Joe Miller for the other senate seat.

12. Politically Incorrect spews:

We should help out those folks affected by Hurricane Sandy, but there shouldn’t be any funding for anything else that has nothing to do with the disaster in that relief bill.


Let’s spend money wisely and where it’s needed before we spend it on getting ourselves re-elected.

13. Steve spews:

“I’m not quite sure what number you’re starting with.”

I tossed a couple of items and added up the rest.

“I noticed you didn’t address the $12.9B for future stuff.”

I tossed that one, calling it “disaster mitigation”.

The point is that we don’t know whose fingerprints are on those earmarks and we really don’t really know the extent to which they are Sandy related, except for maybe the Alaska fisheries. One possibility is that NE pols, left and right, saw deficiencies and remedied the bill with earmarks. Who knows? The game is rigged by both left and right so we don’t know.

14. rhp6033 spews:

Of course, the “extras” purportedly added to the bill only came in as a late excuse for Republican intransigence.

The real reason House Republicans voted against the bill, as stated by their leadership from the beginning, was that they were going to hold Hurricane Sandy victims hostage to get concessions for cuts on what they call “entitlement programs” (i.e., Social Security benefits, Medicade, Medicare, veteran’s benefits, etc.).

They have no problem at all with a company getting no-bid contracts from the government and over-billing the taxpayer for shoddy workmanship, while reaping huge profits paid out to the CEOs and other high executives (which was a hallmark of the Bush administration). But as soon as a Democratic President is in the White House, suddenly deficits become a priority and a single mother struggling to get by on only a few hundred a month becomes the evil welfare queen in Republican eyes.

15. Roger Rabbit spews:

@2 Yes, if only we got rid of wasteful spending like museum roofs, watershed planning, managing Alaskan fisheries, and keeping the Mississippi-Missouri river system navigable, we’d have more money for the aircraft carriers and billion-dollar-per-copy bombers Republicans want. It’s amazing anyone at all still votes for you assholes. You must be stuffing ballot boxes with fake votes.

16. Roger Rabbit spews:

@6 A couple hundred million for Sandy relief? And the rest is “lard”? Are you that stupid? Or that big a liar? Or both? Which?

17. Roger Rabbit spews:

Blowhards like Cereal Bob give propaganda a bad name.

18. Roger Rabbit spews:

@12 “We should help out those folks affected by Hurricane Sandy, but there shouldn’t be any funding for anything else that has nothing to do with the disaster in that relief bill.”

A 9th-grader who slept through civics class knows more about how Congress works than you. This would invalidate every appropriations bill of the last 200 years. But go ahead, post your asinine ravings; your cred is already shot on this blog and you can’t possibly make yourself more worth ignoring than you already are.

19. Politically Incorrect spews:


So you’re in favor of loading appropriations bills with lots of pork. I see. That explains everything about you, rodent.

20. Roger Rabbit spews:

Even the Koch brothers, who probably get bigger tax refunds than most of us, don’t want GOPers to freeze the government’s checking account. So Paul Ryan’s “solution” is to postpone the debt ceiling for a couple months. Didn’t someone pick this moron to be veep? I can’t remember that other guy’s name but it doesn’t matter.

21. Roger Rabbit spews:

@19 No, I’m simply describing how the congressional appropriations process has worked since the founding of the republic for the benefit of the educationally disadvantaged among us, although this feels like somewhat of a quixotic mission.

I’m not saying it should be that way or some other way. I’m simply saying that’s how it works. Here’s the lawn mower and here’s the starter handle, and if you want the lawn mower to run, you have to pull on the starter handle like everybody else does. I stay away from judgments like “should” or “shouldn’t” because I have no say about what makes it run. And neither do you.

One more thing: I’m a lagomorph.

22. Roger Rabbit spews:

Well, the stock market just closed, and it backed off a bit in the last 20 minutes so I made only $2,680 today. Still, skimming the capitalist system beats working for some GOP-voting jerk who pays $10 an hour with no benefits. I can stay in bed and sleep to noon. Why would anyone wanna be a socialist when you can get a setup like this?

23. Roger Rabbit spews:

Why are stocks up today? Because weekly jobless claims hit their lowest level in 5 years and new housing starts are back to June 2008 levels. Sure looks like Obama is screwing up the economy, doesn’t it? More bad news for wingbats who insist the path to prosperity is cutting jobs, cutting wages, and cutting Social Security. All of their dingy economic theories are getting blown out of the water.

24. Roger Rabbit spews:

Steve is right. (u)SP is beyond stupid. They’re laughable.

25. rhp6033 spews:

# 21: Serial could more reasonably contribute to a discussion of how to change the Congressional appropriations process, if he didn’t waste his time putting out the daily talking points from the Republican party and engage in diversion and sophomoric building of straw men.

The Republicans planned to hold the Sandy victims hostage until they got what they wanted, they insisted that the White House name other items which would be cut (items which the Republicans would approve) to pay for it. When suddenly they found themselves facing a revolution from Republican politicians in areas affected by Sandy, they agreed to re-introduce the bill and schedule a vote – but with the full intention of holding the bill hostage as they did before. Only when they saw devastating poll numbers which condemned the tactic did they move forward with the vote – and now thay had to come up with yet another excuse for why they voted against it.

26. rhp6033 spews:

The Republican whips must have had quite a job – allowing most Republicans to vote for the bill, but just enough voting for it so it would pass in order to avoid a public relations calamity. They also had to make sure that those in effected areas – which would probably not be re-elected if the bill failed – were able to vote for it, while others could brag to their constituents about having voted against it.

27. Libertarian spews:

Greetings my most excellent Neo-Socialist friends!

Roger Rabbit, how many C-130 aircraft does it take to move 369,000 pounds of currency from the East coast to Iraq? Use an allowable cabin load of 15,000 pounds per sortie. Also, explain your airlift plan, what assets and how many of them you will need and how long it would take to do the job.

The point of this post is to demonstrate that Roger Rabbit is not some all-knowing wonderful person. He’s actually a very, very small and self-centered little man who has a great opinion of himself.

28. No Time for Fascists spews:

WTF? Please work WITH the drugs, don’t fight them.

29. rhp6033 spews:

# 26 SHOULD have read:

“The Republican whips must have had quite a job – allowing most Republicans to vote AGAINST the bill, but just enough voting for it so it would pass in order to avoid a public relations calamity.

30. rhp6033 spews:

# 27: I believee said gold reserves, not currency. Of course, gold is considerably heavier than currency. Which is why they would ship it over several years’ time, and they wouldn’t necessarily use an aircraft (of any type) to do so.

So your questions aren’t helpful at all.

31. Roger Rabbit spews:

@30 No, I think he’s talking about the amount of U.S. currency the Busheviks had to transport to Iraq so they could shovel it into contractors’ duffel bags to fulfill their no-bid contracts. I’m not sure exactly how much 369,000 lbs. of $100 bills comes to, but it looks ballpark correct. I don’t recall bringing it up recently, though, so I have no idea where #27 came from. Maybe the poster at #27 just woke up from a coma?

32. Roger Rabbit spews:

@27 Why use C-130s for that job? Why not use a plane that doesn’t have to refuel in Iceland? Why carry only 15,000 lbs. when C-130Js can lift three times that much? Why not just wire the money by Western Union?

33. Roger Rabbit spews:

@31 Speaking of which, I should’ve stayed a Republican. By piddling in the stock market I scarf a few hundred here, a few thousand there, but that’s pissant. To make really big bucks you have to tap into Republican corruption.

34. Michael spews:

$50 million in subsidies for tree planting on private properties.

The Timber industry’s mostly Republican.

35. Michael spews:

He’s actually a very, very small

Of course, Roger is very, very small. He’s a rabbit! Unless he’s one of those rabbits from Night Of The Lepus…

36. correctnotright spews:

Hi Mr. Rabbbit,
Long time no see….
Yeah, there was some pork in the republican bill the house passed – I wonder who controls the house and put it in there?

Mostly, though, republicans threatened to not fund any Sandy reparations unless it was balanced by their favorite budget cuts.

Republicans did not say this after Katrina.