The eight Texas congressmen who voted against storm relief
By Richard Whittaker,
8:49AM, Wed. Jan. 9, 2013
Between droughts, hurricanes and firestorms, you might think that Texas politicians would have some sympathy for New Yorkers caught in a natural disaster. Instead, almost a quarter of the state's delegation voted against the Hurricane Sandy relief bill.
On the positive side, 28 of Texas' 36 members of congress - including Republicans such fiscal hardline Republicans and anti-Fed ideologues GOPers as Joe Barton, the returning Steve Stockman (a one-termer from the mid-90s), Michael Burgess and even Mike McCaul voted for the $9.7 billion down payment on reconstruction.
Unfortunately, that means that eight Texas delegates – all Republicans – were part of the 67 vote rump that decided that the drenched and struggling populations of New York and New Jersey didn't need federal cash.
What House Resolution 41 does is allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to borrow an extra $9.7 billion for the National Flood Insurance Fund by amending the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968. This is simply a stop-gap, because Speaker John Boehner bolted and failed to bring the full Senate-approved $60 billion under HR1 to the floor.
So who said no with a Texas accent? The fact that East Texas anarchist Louie Gohmert voted against the measure surprises no-one, since he has stayed true to his wrecking ball political philosophy: Why change now? (After all, Gohmert was the last remaining politician in favor of keeping the word "lunatic" in federal laws.)
He's not the only rural Republican to vote noe: Add on Randy Neugaburger, Mac Thornberry, and Mike Conaway, whose districts cover the most drought-wracked regions of West Texas. Then there's Randy Weber, whose Galveston-based district has a long history of storm damage. There are also two Central Texas congressmen on the list: Bill Flores, and former secretary of state Roger Williams, whose heavily gerrymandered district extrudes into Austin. Aside from him, the only urban GOPer to vote against the bill was Kenny Marchant from Dallas/Fort Worth.
Worth noting that both Weber and Williams are freshmen, and this was their first major vote.