TIME: When Superstorm Sandy battered the East Coast last fall, House Republicans’ insistence that disaster aid be offset by commensurate cuts delayed the flow of cash to the stricken region by several weeks. Speaker John Boehner was forced to scrap a planned vote on New Year’s Day; when the bill finally came up for a vote, 179 Republicans in the House opposed it.
Some conservatives appear to have changed their tune this time. Like most Republicans, Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma opposed the $60 billion Sandy package, arguing it was laden with pork. At the time, Inhofe dubbed the bill a “slush fund.” But in an interview with MSNBC Tuesday morning he suggested the effort to help his home state would be different. ”Everybody was getting in and exploiting the tragedy that took place,” Inhofe said of the Sandy-relief bill. “That won’t happen in Oklahoma.”
Inhofe’s point was echoed by a spokeswoman for Jim Bridenstine, one of three Republican Congressmen from Oklahoma who voted against the big Sandy package in January. “You really can’t compare the two,” says Sheryl Kaufman, Bridenstine’s communications director. “Sandy was a major spending bill that went well beyond anything related to relief.” Bridenstine has no objection to disaster relief funding, Kaufman said, but “he does believe we need to offset spending whenever there’s a federal expenditure proposal” in order to reach a balanced budget. MORE
PREVIOUSLY: Roll Call Of The 10 Biggest Hypocrites That Voted Against Sandy Relief