SUNDAY UPDATE: With the exception of FOX 31’s Eli Stokols we’ve seen very little local coverage of this story, but the South Jersey Courier-Post was paying attention:
What do these lawmakers believe, that the Northeast shouldn’t see any federal aid at all? That now, in the wake of a disaster, is the time to wipe out the federal flood insurance program?
And these 67 are likely to be joined by others on Jan. 15 when the House is scheduled to vote on the bulk of the aid needed in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
Many of these same House members who voted “no” Friday have previously sought federal aid for their states or voted to support federal aid for neighboring states hit by natural disaster.
Take U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo. He voted against the funding Friday. He also signed onto a letter last year asking President Barack Obama for extra FEMA aid for homeowners following a canyon fire in his state that destroyed 350 residences. [Pols emphasis]
The hypocrisy of some of these lawmakers in Washington who believe they’re so principled and righteous is astounding.
There’s not a word about Lamborn’s vote against Hurricane Sandy relief in the Colorado Springs Gazette, or any local television with the exception of Denver’s FOX 31. The Colorado Springs Independent had a brief story Friday. In contrast with Lamborn’s showy request for FEMA aid last summer, the lack of local outrage over this vote, while being condemned in the harsh terms you see above by Hurricane Sandy’s victims, amounts to a second embarrassment.
We are better neighbors than this.
If this report from FOX 31’s Eli Stokols doesn’t infuriate you, you’re not paying attention:
Under strong pressure from New York and New Jersey elected officials, the House of Representatives Friday passed a $9.7 billion federal aid package for victims of Hurricane Sandy…
At least one of the 67 conservative Republicans who opposed the bill is just months removed from seeing a natural disaster devastate his own district.
That would be Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs, where the Waldo Canyon Fire last June destroyed close to 350 homes and led to $352.6 million in insurance claims. [Pols emphasis]
Following that fire, Lamborn signed onto a letter along with the other members of the Colorado congressional delegation asking the White House for additional FEMA disaster relief.
Two months earlier, Lamborn had actually introduced his own legislation aimed at limiting executive disaster declarations and federal dollars they free up.
We don’t know anyone who has even attempted to rationalize the actions of Rep. Doug Lamborn last year, who after seeking to limit President Barack Obama’s “politically motivated” disaster declarations, did an about-face after the devastating Waldo Canyon fire, requesting immediate aid, and even riding with Obama on Air Force One when the President toured the disaster area. Despite the jaw-dropping hypocrisy on display, we had thought maybe there was a possibility he had at least learned a lesson coming out of it.
He did not.
“I’ve worked with Congressman Lamborn on a number of important initiatives for his district, but I haven’t had a chance to talk to him about his vote,” [Sen. Mark] Udall said. “We’ve long had a history and tradition in our Congress of supporting other regions of the country that experience natural disasters. Why? Because the next…natural disaster is coming to your state.” [Pols emphasis]
In the past, we have been obliged to note that Lamborn is, objectively and nonpartisanly speaking, an embarrassment to the state of Colorado. This is definitely one of those times.