Even though their state has taken more than $1.8 billion in federal disaster assistance from 2004 to 2011, every Kansas lawmaker -- Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, and all 4 House members -- has now voted against providing emergency relief to Hurricane Sandy victims.
The Senate approved the Sandy relief bill Monday. The House approved the bill in mid-January.
Missouri's senators split their votes: Sen. Claire McCaskill voted yes, Sen. Roy Blunt voted no.
In a statement, Blunt tried to convince the country that he wasn't really saying Joplin's tornado victims are more important than storm victims in Staten Island:
“When a disaster exceeds the ability of communities and states, I believe the federal government has a responsibility to help people rebuild. Federal aid is an important tool to help get people back on their feet by restoring the infrastructure that was in place before a disaster – not a chance for Congress to attach stimulus-type spending or fundamentally alter the way we respond to future tragedies.
“In Missouri, we’ve had our fair share of disasters over the past two years during major flooding events, drought, and several tornadoes – including a deadly EF-5 tornado that devastated the City of Joplin in 2011. Following these tragic events, Congress provided targeted disaster funding through a regular appropriations process.
“Unfortunately, we did not follow the same process after Superstorm Sandy."
Here's what Blunt said when Rep. Eric Cantor said relief spending for the Joplin tornado should be offset with cuts to other programs:
“We need to prioritize spending, and this (tornado relief) needs to be a priority.”