On Tuesday, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said he would be willing to overlook what he called the “hypocrisy” of certain lawmakers who opposed aid for his state in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and might support funding for tornado-ravaged Oklahoma, Politico reports.
“I think there’s a lot of hypocrisy involved here, [Sen. James] Inhofe saying Sandy aid was corrupt but Oklahoma won’t be,” King said.
“But I don’t want to hold the people of Oklahoma responsible for what elected officials are saying, for the husband and wife without a home, for the people who lost all their worldly possessions.”
King made clear he wasn’t looking to engage in a war of words and emphasized that aid should be provided to Oklahoma, which sustained a deadly tornado on Monday, without the requirement of budgetary offsets.
“I’ve always believed that but certainly, going through it myself [during Sandy], seeing the devastation a national disaster brings to a district…it’s a [national issue], not a local issue, like Sandy wasn’t a New York, New Jersey issue,” King said.
“It’s an American issue, we have an obligation to come forward.”
Sen. Inhofe, R-Okla., said during an interview on MSNBC Tuesday that he had been in favor of reduced aid for victims of Sandy because “everyone was getting in and exploiting the tragedy taking place” by adding funding for unrelated projects to the measure, but said “that won’t happen in Oklahoma.”
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., on Tuesday said that he was leaning towards supporting offsets for Oklahoma aid.
King, a vocal critic of those in his own party who didn’t back full Sandy funding, said at a time like this, it’s the victims who must come first.
“I won’t hold it against anyone,” King said of lawmakers who came out against Sandy aid but could support help for Oklahoma without offsets.
“I don’t want suffering people in Oklahoma to be held hostage while we engage in political fights, saying ‘I told you so.’
I want to deal with it on the merits.”
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