When Hurricane Sandy caused widespread damage in New York and New Jersey in 2012, the Senate Republican absolutely nobody likes, Sen. Ted Cruz, was one of the loudest voices opposing federal disaster aid for the region. Now that he is asking for disaster relief for his own state in very similar circumstances, he is naturally being asked about the apparent contradiction.
In an interview Monday, MSNBC’s Katy Tur asked Cruz about the difference.“There is time for political sniping later,” Cruz said, before Tur interrupted him.“It’s not really political sniping, senator,” she said. “These are people who needed money and who needed funding right after that storm, I covered those people. Many of them, just like those in Houston, lost absolutely everything they owned.”Cruz claimed that “I and a number of others enthusiastically and emphatically supported hurricane relief for Sandy,” but he said that the bill that was ultimately signed into law had too much extraneous spending.
Cruz was one of more than 20 Texas Republicans to vote against Sandy relief, declaring the $50 billion package too encompassing; both Texas Sens. Cruz and Cornyn demanded that relief provided be matched by federal budget cuts elsewhere. And he's been pilloried for it ever since.
He’s not alone, however. He is making an appeal for relief now to an administration whose second-in-command, Vice President Mike Pence, was back then the top Republican promoter of Operation Offset, the similar House Republican-led demand that Hurricane Sandy relief be met with equal budget cuts elsewhere.