Embarrassed Again by Our Congressional Delegation

Statement by KDP Chair Joan Wagnon on the "no" votes reportedly cast by members of the House of Representatives on HR 41 on January 4, 2013

Last Friday, 354 members of the House of Representatives authorized the temporary increase in FEMA's borrowing authority to deal with the flood insurance for victims of Hurricane Sandy in the northeast. Only 67, all Republicans, voted no including Kansas Representatives Jenkins, Yoder, Pompeo and Huelskamp.

The bill would temporarily grant $9.7 billion in additional borrowing authority for the National Flood Insurance Program. The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday that without additional borrowing, the flood insurance program would run out of money for processing claims next week. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the measure into law.

While Kansans are not usually plagued with hurricanes, we certainly understand the devastation of winds, ice and tornados. Without the help and support of FEMA after the Greensburg tornado, or the floods in southeast Kansas, many Kansas families wouldn't have recovered. Our Congressional delegation went to bat for federal aid to Kansas. Why not for Hurricane Sandy Victims? Kansans understand the need for neighbor to help neighbor.

The midwest is still in a prolonged drought and our Kansas farmers who are already drawing heavily on crop insurance may need further funding. We may need those 354 congressional members to help us in time of need. How willing will they be to help Kansas when we turn our delegation turned their backs on them? Now that Kansas Representatives have voted against the residents in the Northeast, how can they expect any one of them to come to the aid of Kansas farmers, or tornado victims.

It is unconscionable that our Congressional delegation didn't stand behind this package of flood relief. In times of national disaster we must all help each other and stand together. Their actions were wrong both morally and politically.

So why did they vote No? Club for Growth set this as one of their priorities to defeat! According to Roll Call, "The conservative group Club for Growth highlighted the House-passed bill (HR 41) as a key vote and, in a blog post Friday, urged all members to vote “no.”. And, their website notes that this vote will be used in their 2013 election scorecard.

Shame on them for putting petty politics ahead of people in real need.

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