Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Sen. Lindsey Graham wants federal aid for South Carolina floods — but doesn’t remember voting against Sandy relief for New Jersey
October 6, 2015
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is seeking federal aid after his home state was ravaged by deadly floods amid historic rainfall triggered by Hurricane Joaquin.
“Let’s just get through this thing,” Graham said in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room” Monday. “And whatever it costs, it costs.”
But in 2013, Graham was among 36 Senate Republicans who voted against giving similar aid to New Jersey in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. (The bill passed in a 62 to 36 vote.)
Graham told Blitzer he didn’t remember opposing the $50.5 billion Sandy relief bill.
“I’m all for helping the people in New Jersey. I don’t really remember me voting that way,” Graham said. “I don’t really recall that, but I’d be glad to look and tell you why I did vote no, if I did.”
Graham wasn’t the only 2016 presidential candidate to oppose Sandy relief. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz also voted against the package.
“Hurricane Sandy inflicted devastating damage on the East Coast, and Congress appropriately responded with hurricane relief. Unfortunately, cynical politicians in Washington could not resist loading up this relief bill with billions in new spending utterly unrelated to Sandy,” Cruz told the Houston Chronicle at the time. “This bill is symptomatic of a larger problem in Washington — an addiction to spending money we do not have. The United States Senate should not be in the business of exploiting victims of natural disasters.”
But as floodwaters raged in Texas earlier this year, Cruz praised the federal support his state was receiving.
“We’re seeing cooperation from state government, the local government and the federal government all standing together at a time of great challenge,” Cruz said.