Climate change denier Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) tried to explain on MSNBC this morning why Oklahoma is different from Sandy aid, which he voted against. The Senator said, “That was totally different.. everybody was getting in and exploiting the tragedy taking place. That won’t happen in Oklahoma.”
What he doesn’t tell you is who that “everybody” is. Much of the pork in the Sandy bill was there to bribe red state Republicans into voting yes. Irony, or tragedy?
Watch here via TPM:
“Well, let’s look at that. That was totally different. They were getting things — for instance that was supposed to be in New Jersey, they had things in the Virgin Islands, they were fixing roads there, they were putting roofs on houses in Washington, D.C., everybody was getting in and exploiting the tragedy taking place. That won’t happen in Oklahoma.”
I went through the facts when Senator Ted Cruz tried blame pork for why Texas was so much more entitled than the east coast:
While it’s true that lawmakers like to use/abuse the freedom granted by “emergency funding”, it’s also ironic that, according to PolitiFact, “A big portion of the $17 billion in “immediate” assistance, more than $5 billion, went to replenish FEMA’s disaster relief fund, which may fund relief from future disasters.” PolitiFact also disagrees with some of the math Cruz repeated, “On Jan. 28, it passed H.R. 152, a separate $50.5 billion package. Of that $50.5 billion, $17 billion went toward immediate Sandy aid, while $33.5 billion was for “near- and long-term assistance and mitigation,” according to a Congressional Quarterly analysis.”
Furthermore, Rick Ungar, writing at Forbes, pointed out that the “pork” came from having to bribe red state Republicans — including Texas — in order to get the package passed over their filibuster, “However, as it turns out, the pork portions of the Senate bill were not earmarked to benefit Democratic members of the upper chamber of Congress…
The answer can be found in a quick review of the states that are set to benefit from the Senate’s extra-special benevolence—states including Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana.”
This is a good time to remind everyone that Inhofe is a global warming/climate change denier. Whilst in Copenhagen in 2009, he announced, “global warming was a hoax perpetrated on the world by the UN” and sold to Americans “by the Hollywood elite.” This from a Senator whose own state is third on the list of total federal disaster and fire declarations, as pointed out by HuffPo last night.
The only way Inhofe can really believe that aid for his state won’t be laden with pork is if he thinks that he won’t have to bribe as many Republicans to vote yes as had to be bribed on Sandy aid.
The truth of the matter is that there is no difference between Sandy and Oklahoma, except that the east coast is not full of Republicans, and so Republicans didn’t care about the east coast. Let it burn unless there’s something in it for us, was their attitude.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.