Soledad O’Brien Calls Out the Hypocrisy of Republicans Refusing Aid to Sandy

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mulvaney cnn

Up today for a possible vote is the $51 billion in federal relief for Hurricane Sandy. Congressman Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) told Soledad O’Brien on CNN”s “Starting Point” he has a problem with part of it because “it is not paid for.”

O’Brien challenged him by pointing out the hypocrisy of his position since no one demanded that the costs be offset for disaster relief for his state. After listing the costs of several of South Carolina’s hurricanes, she asked, “Doesn’t he (Chris Christie) have a point, that this is a different standard for folks in New Jersey than for everybody else, including those many folks in your state were given in the past.”

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Pretending as if his vote is not a reflection of being threatened by the Club for Growth, Mulvaney claimed that his objection is that the relief is not paid for. “My difficulty is that this is not paid for. We’re borrowing this additional money to do this and I just think that’s wrong. I’m hoping we can figure out a way today during the amendment process to find savings elsewhere to pay for this without adding to the debt.”

O’Brien then reminded him of the hurricanes that hit South Carolina and that no one offset costs for hurricane relief to South Carolina, including Hurricane Hugo’s 5-8 billion in property loss.

She rolled a clip of Chris Christie listing the mostly Southern states (from which many of the conservative objections to Sandy relief emanate) that have been given relief with no questions asked. Christie said New Jersey expects nothing different than was done for Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, and Iowa, and then huffed, “If they want to make new rules, they picked the wrong state to do it with.”

O’Brien asked Mulvaney, “Doesn’t he have a point, that this is a different standard for folks in New Jersey than for everybody else, including those many folks in your state were given in the past.”

Mulvaney put on his best Republican patronizing hat, and suggested calmly — as if New Jersey weren’t in the midst of a desperate situation — that things are different now. “I do think it’s a fair point. I would encourage the Governor and everybody else to consider the fact that in 1989 and even as late as Katrina several years ago the debt was much much smaller… we simply cannot continue what we’ve done in the past. That’s how we arrived where we are.”

Ah, so that’s how we got here. I thought it was the two unfunded wars and unfunded Medicare Part D combined with the Bush tax cuts that destroyed Clinton’s surplus. And then there was the Stock Market Crash of 2008, brought on by the rampant deregulation (Republican policy that was supposed to lead to growth) of Wall Street/banks/financial institutions. Recessions cost a LOT of money.

If he means that we can’t keep doing what the government is designed to do, then we have to ask why Republicans are against taxes, which really do put a dent in the deficit (see Gov. Brown, D-CA).

Mulvaney then launched into the usual conservative talking points about not wanting to load this debt onto the next generation, never connecting the dots that the debt ceiling the House Republicans are once again threatening to not raise is money that they already spent.

Republicans have gone so far off the cliff chasing ultra conservative groups’ approval that the Sandy bill had to be broken into two parts: There is the $17-billion bill and now an additional $34 billion amendment. Mulvaney said he thinks they can pass the $17-billion bill but he’s not so sure about the amendment, because it’s loaded with what so-called pork (aka, any spending that is not in that congress person’s district).

Instead of facing the fact that their policies got us into this mess, Republicans keep lecturing the country about debt as a passive aggressive excuse to withhold and punish the country, as if they are in a position to be moral scolds to anyone.

Do your job, Republicans. It never should have taken this long to get relief for Sandy victims.

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