Tags: Ted Cruz | ted cruz | hurricane sandy | relief package | unrelated pork

Sen. Cruz on Sandy Relief Package: 'Filled With Unrelated Pork'

MSNBC

By    |   Monday, 28 August 2017 03:48 PM

Sen. Ted Cruz — under fire for pushing for relief funds for catastrophically flooded Texas after snubbing Hurricane Sandy disaster money for the Northeast in 2012 — insisted Monday he rejected earlier legislation because it was "filled with unrelated pork."

Asked by MSNBC's Katy Tur what he would say to critics of his bid to help Texas after rejecting a bill to aid those hurt by Sandy, Cruz answered, "There is time for political sniping later."

But Tur pressed ahead, telling the Texas Republican, "It's not really political sniping. These are people that needed money and funding after that storm. I covered those people who lost absolutely everything they owned."

"Well, Katie, of course that is right, and the accurate thing to say is that I and a number of others supported hurricane relief for Sandy. Hurricane relief and disaster relief has been a vital central role for a long, long time," Cruz replied.

"That particular bill became a $50 billion bill that was filled with unrelated pork. Two thirds of the bill had nothing to do with Sandy. And what I said then, and still believe now, is it's not right for politicians to exploit a disaster for them to pay for their own political wish list.

"It needs to focus on victims of disaster relief, and I did that for Sandy and I do anywhere there is a major disaster without getting distracted by unnecessary spending."

Cruz's defense followed a terse tweet posted over the weekend by Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican:

In October of 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused some $75 billion in damages as 80 mph winds and record storm surges slammed the East Coast, ravaging states including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. More than 100 are said to have died in the U.S. alone.

Cruz, interviewed from Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center, which has been transformed into a shelter for residents driven out of their homes by several feet of rain, said of the relief efforts:

"The city of Houston and the Texas gulf coast is reeling …The highest priority still remains on the preservation of life ...

"I think we're headed forwards getting through this, but there has been an incredible coordination of assets. All working together, people risking their lives to pull people out of way.

"We have over 3,000 national guardsmen. We have the Coast Guard that is actively working. They are coming up to provide assistance and the focus needs to be continuing on reaching people in need."

Officials said Monday that at least eight people appear to have died in storm-related tragedies, The Washington Post reports.

Cruz told Tur that residents who remain in their homes must take extra care to stay safe.

"Let me say to anyone at home that is watching this, [who] may be in the path of rising flood waters: stay out of harm's way. Don't go in the attic unless you have an axe to get out. If at all possible, avoid going in your car," Cruz said.

"Unless it is an emergency, the worst thing you can do is get in and go into swiftly moving water. It can put you and your family lives and safety in jeopardy.

"Find a place that is safe, high, and dry. If you're in trouble, call 911 so emergency responders can come help you."

Cruz said he is confident President Donald Trump is "directly committed to whatever Texas needs they get and get swiftly and I'm grateful for that commitment."

"My office is working hand in hand with local majors, county judges, officials, police officers and connecting them with state and federal resources," Cruz said.

"Every time we see a crisis like this, what is so encouraging is to see Texans together. There are hundreds who have just taken out their own boats and jet skis to rescue those in high water.

"There was one woman who has to use a walker who was trying to walk in waist-high water, and she was given a ride to the shelter here. It is Texans helping Texans. It makes a huge, huge difference and Texas is grateful for the prayers and generosity."

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Sen. Ted Cruz — under fire for pushing for relief funds for catastrophically flooded Texas after snubbing Hurricane Sandy disaster money for the Northeast in 2012 — insisted Monday he rejected earlier legislation because it was "filled with unrelated pork."
ted cruz, hurricane sandy, relief package, unrelated pork
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2017-48-28
Monday, 28 August 2017 03:48 PM
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