Paul Ryan and 66 other House Republicans tried to rip off victims of Hurricane Sandy who filed flood insurance claims by voting to deny them their money.
Conservatives were trying to make the vote to increase the National Flood Insurance Program’s borrowing authority by $9.7 billion about the debt, but in reality they actually were voting to pay the approved claims of Sandy victims who had purchased flood insurance. According to the AP, “The bill gives more borrowing authority to the National Flood Insurance Program to pay about 115,000 pending Sandy-related claims as well as about 5,000 claims unrelated to Sandy.”
The victims who filed these claims paid their premiums as participants in the National Flood Insurance Program. These individuals and businesses weren’t looking for free government money. They only expected to made whole by their insurer who had approved their damage claims. This vote had nothing to do with disaster relief. The vote was about carrying out a legal obligation to those who paid their premiums and had their claims approved.
In short, Paul Ryan and 66 other House Republicans tried to ripoff Hurricane Sandy victims by voting to not pay their approved flood insurance claims.
Extremist House Republicans like Ryan argue that the government should not borrow the money, but instead offset the $9.7 billion with spending cuts. Republicans like Ryan never offer to take the disaster relief money out of the defense budget. Instead, they target everything from Head Start to Medicare to veterans’ benefits. In fact, the Ryan budget calls for every cent in disaster relief to be offset by cuts in discretionary spending.
Beneath the push for spending offsets is an ideological belief that disaster relief should be privatized. This is a belief that is held by Ryan’s running mate Mitt Romney and many other far right Republicans.
In this case, the House wasn’t voting on disaster relief. They were voting on whether or not to live up to their legal obligation to Sandy victims who purchased flood insurance. Ryan tried to use the suffering of Sandy victims to squeeze spending cuts out of people like poor children, seniors, and veterans.
These 67 House Republicans attempted to make America choose between the suffering of Sandy’s victim, or the suffering that many other Americans would face if they got their wish for offset spending cuts in exchange for the flood insurance funds.
These Republicans should not be allowed to hide, so here are all of the House Republicans who told Sandy victims no: