As if you needed any more reason to hate that cheese-sucking weasel known as Texas Senator Ted Cruz, let his recent about-face on the politics of disaster relief funding be a reminder.
As a historic amount of rain continues to deluge the state, Cruz spoke at length to CNBC about the search and rescue effort in Texas, as well as the extensive damage the storm has already wrought.
Cruz was then asked about a recent tweet from New York Republican congressman Pete King’s recent tweet, which called out the senator for voting against funding for Hurricane Sandy disaster relief in 2013.
“Ted Cruz and Texas cohorts voted vs NY/NJ aid after Sandy but I’ll vote for Harvey aid,” King tweeted. “One bad turn doesn’t deserve another.”
“There’ll be plenty of time for politics and I’m not going to worry about political sniping,” said the man who shut down the entire government because of political sniping.
“Trying to marshall federal assets to save lives, that needs to be the priority,” said Cruz. “The silliness of Washington, we can worry about another time.”
Cruz doubled down on his decision not to send any federal assets to New York, however.
“I would have eagerly supported funding for that but I didn’t think it was appropriate to engage in pork-barrel spending where two-thirds of that bill was unrelated spending that had nothing to do with Sandy and was simply politicians wasting money,” Cruz explained.
But that’s not really true. Weather events that bring massive amounts of rain and flooding have well-documented long-term effects, including destabilizing marine life, disrupting hospitals and the care they provide, contaminating water, increasing the risk of contracting airborne diseases, and triggering PTSD.
The requests made in the $51 billion Hurricane Sandy relief bill addressed a few of these issues and articulated clearly why the funding was, in fact, storm-related. For instance, Cruz singled out Head Start, a federal program that helps prepare low-income children under the age of 5 for school, as “unrelated spending,” despite the fact that the money Head Start asked for would have explicitly gone to repairing centers that had been damaged by Sandy.
There is no blueprint for a storm as devastating as Harvey promises to be. Experts say not even Hurricane Katrina provides an adequate comparison. Federal funding will be crucial in helping Texas and its residents get back on their feet once the rain stops. Lucky for them, their senator has recently decided that being stingy with disaster money is a bad idea.