Steve Scalise, Republican hypocrite-in-chief — AP
❝ Call it logrolling or one hand washing the other, a generally recognized fact in Washington is that if you want something for your district, it pays to agree to the same thing for another guy’s district.
That point may have been lost on three Louisiana congressmen when they voted against a $50.5-billion relief package for the victims of Superstorm Sandy. The 2012 storm ravaged coastal communities in New Jersey and New York. Now they’re in the position of needing the same sort of aid for their own state. How will that play out?
❝ The three lawmakers, all Republicans, are Rep. Steve Scalise (currently the House majority whip); Bill Cassidy, who moved up to the Senate last year; and John Fleming. They’re all likely exemplars of another Washington truism: fiscal responsibility is great, until it’s your own district that’s getting fiscally hammered. Then Job One becomes working to “help the residents of the threatened areas in their time of need.”…
❝ No one is saying that the flood-stricken communities of Louisiana don’t deserve all the assistance that the U.S. government can provide them. But so did the residents of the Sandy zone.
Indeed, the funds made available through the emergency declaration are likely to be a drop in the bucket compared to what ultimately will be needed in Louisiana. FEMA will spend several million dollars on emergency housing and other aid. But the final toll could be well into the tens of billions. Initial estimates in Baton Rouge, covering about half of the parishes hit by the flooding, are that 110,000 homes worth a total $20 billion have been damaged. Business losses and reconstruction costs will come to much more.
These are the categories covered by the Sandy appropriation that Louisiana’s lawmakers voted down.
I’m waiting for the Republican Party to claim a patent on hypocrisy. They surely own it in practice.