Merk argiewe: disaster

Rand Paul accused of hypocrisy for requesting Kentucky disaster relief

Rand Paul accused of hypocrisy for requesting Kentucky disaster relief
Senator’s state was ravaged by tornadoes which killed dozens

Kentucky Republikeinse senator Rand Paul is facing charges of hypocrisy after he asked the federal government to support any necessary disaster relief efforts for his home state due to his past obstruction of efforts to fund relief efforts elsewhere.

The state was ravaged by devastating storms over the weekend that caused tornadoes to touch down in several areas, including one that was on the ground for more than 200 myl. Meer as 60 people have been confirmed dead, and the state’s governor says he expects that number to continue to rise.

Undoubtedly there will be more. We believe it’ll certainly be above 70, maybe even 80, but again with this amount of damage and rubble it may be a week or even more before we have a final count on the number of lost lives,” said Gov Andy Beshear on Monday.

In reaksie, Mr Paul wrote to President Joe Biden urging him to support Mr Beshear’s request for federal assistance in recovering from the storm, something that Mr Biden approved, pledging on Wednesday in a visit to the state that that would include 100 per cent of cleanup costs.

“The Governor of the Commonwealth has requested federal assistance this morning, and certainly further requests will be coming as the situation is assessed. I fully support those requests and ask that you move expeditiously to approve the appropriate resources for our state,” wrote Mr Paul in a letter released on his website.

But the libertarian-leaning senator has in the past opposed attempts to extend funding for disaster relief to others without first cutting the price of the assistance from foreign aid budgets. When those requests were rejected, he voted against disaster relief in the wake of storms including Superstorm Sandy.

As a result Mr Paul was pilloried in both Die Washington Post en CNN’s website, the latter of which accused the junior senator from Kentucky of “conduct[ing] your political career like a poli-sci class thought experiment in college”.

'[Ek]t also conjured memories of Paul’s own lengthy history of opposing congressional legislation written to address past disasters, including bills passed following hurricanes Sandy, Harvey and Maria directing billions of dollars of assistance to stricken Americans,” wrote the Post.

The senator also faced a sizeable backlash on Twitter.

“We should do all we can to help our Kentucky neighbors. God be with them — they are hurting. But do not for one second forget that @RandPaulhas voted against helping most Americans most times they’re in need,” tweeted Rep Eric Swalwell, a Democratic congressman from California.

Mr Paul reiterated in statements this week that he supported disaster relief in theory, but would demand that it be offset from other areas of spending. He also lashed out at critics of his stance.

“We’re concerned with burying our dead and mourning those who have died right now. I think it’s sad that people on the left who have an agenda in the midst of people dying can’t come together to try to help people in their time of need but instead want to score cheap political points, most of which is untrue,” said Mr Paul.