I was lucky—seriously, I feel so, so lucky—not to have been one of the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who were—and, in many cases, remain—seriously affected by Hurricane Sandy. And while I think it is more than just important, rather I think it is the duty of those of use who got through unscathed, to help in any way that we can with the clean-up and recovery from the storm, I am also grateful to know that there are federal funds coming to the city and to all the other areas that were devastated in the last few days. I wrote previously that as much as we maybe don’t want to politicize this storm, that we want to just think of this as a time of togetherness instead of divisiveness, it is essential that we bear in mind which party and what candidates think that government can and should help out in times of disaster and which party holds the line that we should either go screw ourselves or that if we must get the money, then they will tell us how to use it.
In case you need another reminder, Talking Points Memo reports that Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa thinks that it’s totally cool if the East Coast gets federal funding for disaster relief, but first he wants to make sure that we spend it in the right way. King said in a debate last night, “I want to get them the resources that are necessary to lift them out of this water and this sand and the ashes and the death that’s over there in the East Coast and especially the Northeast. But they need to come with a plan on how to spend it.”
Oh, we do, Steve King? We need to come up with a plan? One that, I suppose, you approve of? More than you approved of the plan that New Orleans came up with post-Katrina, since you had no problem denying them federal funding? King “was one of only 11 members of Congress to vote against a $52 billion second installment of aid for the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.” He defended this move Tuesday night by saying, “I said no on that second round of appropriations for Katrina…because they spent it on Gucci bags and massage parlors and everything you can think of — in addition to what was necessary.”