As Superstorm Sandy victims continue to wait for a full relief package to make it their way, Tea Party Congressman Mick Mulvaney said Tuesday that his amendment to offset that aid with spending cuts was not intended to delay rebuilding.
"I want this money to go to these folks in the Northeast," Mulvaney said on PoliticsNation. "The question today was whether or not we thought it was important enough to pay for it now or if whether or not we were going to pay for it later and make our children and grandchildren pay for it."
Mulvaney himself has benefited from disaster relief aid. "I have actually participated in the disaster assistance relief program," he said in testimony before a House committee hearing in Nov. 2011. "I showed up at work about 6 months after I had started my own business one morning to find my office furniture floating in the front yard. We had been through a flood, and I was able to get a disaster relief loan from the SBA, and my experience was actually quite good. It was extraordinarily helpful."
Mulvaney may not have intended his amendment to delay Sandy aid, but it inevitably would have caused a delay, since it was doomed in the Senate. Any aid package cannot make it to the Sandy storm victims until it can be agreed upon by both chambers of Congress.
Comparable relief bills for other major disasters of the last decade passed in a fraction of the time it has taken Congress to get aid to Sandy victims. More than $100 billion went to the Gulf Coast within three weeks of Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Ike victims got nearly $30 billion in aid only 17 days after that storm hit.