UPDATE: Democrats wanted to be sure that our readers knew that the Democrats in the Colorado delegation voted for the pork-filled Frelinghuysen amendment that wouldn’t have helped Sandy victims for years, so as a favor to them, we’re correcting our error which gave their legislative judgment too much credit. You’re welcome.
When ColoradoPols penned an open letter to America about the devastation caused by the unusual flooding in Colorado, the letter started out…ok. And, then Pols took the opportunity to politicize this terrible tragedy by pointing out that Republicans voted against aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy. First, way to politicize a tragedy, you asshats. Rahm “Never Let a Tragedy Go to Waste” Emmanuel would be so proud. Second, it just ain’t true.
Let’s set the record straight. There were two pieces of legislation that made their way through Congress in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy – one that provided immediate aid to those who lost so much during this storm (the Rogers amendment) and another that was filled with pork spending that promised aid several years later (the Frelinghuysen amendment).
Here’s what the Rogers amendment offered: $17 billion in immediate assistance to victims of Hurricane Sandy by providing funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster relief fund, housing for those whose homes were destroyed, and funding for damaged infrastructure and transit systems. Rep. Gardner and the Republican Colorado delegation voted in favor of this amendment. To say that Republicans voted down immediate aid is a flat out lie.
Here’s what the Frelinghuysen amendment offered: an extra $33 billion, 80 percent of which would not be spent until after 2015, and much of which did not directly help Sandy victims. Here are some examples of the pork that was contained in the this amendment, according to the New York Post:
“The pork-barrel feast includes more than $8 million to buy cars and equipment for the Homeland Security and Justice departments. It also includes a whopping $150 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to dole out to fisheries in Alaska and $2 million for the Smithsonian Institution to repair museum roofs in DC.”
Yes, the funds were to be used even for a fishery in Alaska. We hope we don’t need to remind you, PeakNation™, that Alaska was not impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Gardner and the Colorado delegation rightly voted against that amendment.
But, Congressman Gardner went even further to bring aid to Colorado in the aftermath of last year’s wildfires. Gardner offered an amendment that would have added funding for the Emergency Watershed Protection program to all areas that experienced a natural disaster this year. Following the High Park and Waldo Canyon fires, the funding could have prevented erosion that exacerbated the flooding situation in these areas. While the Colorado delegation supported the amendment, it was not considered by the entire U.S. House.
On Friday, Gardner took to the floor of the U.S. House to fight to raise the $100 million Federal Highway Administration funding cap on emergency relief, along with Kentucky Republican Hal Rogers, according to the Denver Post. Here’s what Gardner said:
“The tragedy and devastation caused by this severe flood necessitates a response from the federal government. I ask the chairman to consider working with me and other members of the Colorado delegation to help our state recover and rebuild from this tragedy.”
This is a measure that all nine of Colorado’s federally elected officials supported as evidenced by the letters they each sent earlier this week.
The bottom line is that Colorado Republicans have voted for and have fought for legislation and funding that would benefit victims of natural disasters in Colorado and across the country. To say otherwise, is blatantly false and misleading. So, Pols, if you’re going to start throwing accusations like that around, you should probably get your facts straight first.