NEW YORK — In a move that tri-state residents may find ironic, Senator Lindsey Graham is asking for federal aid to help South Carolina in the aftermath of massive weekend flooding in his state that dumped up to 24″ of rain and killed at least 11 people.
“Let’s just get through this thing, and whatever it costs, it costs,” Graham told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Monday.
When questioned, Graham could not recall that he voted against similar funding for states requesting federal aid after Superstorm Sandy ravaged the northeast from October 22-31, 2012.
In January, 2013, he was one of 36 senators who cast “no” votes on the $50.5 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package. That vote in itself was hypocritical, as Graham had previously sought — and received — federal money for drought relief.
“I’m all for helping the people in New Jersey. I don’t really remember me voting that way,” Graham said Monday.
Graham also told Blitzer that he tends to ”try to be there for friends and neighbors, so hope they’ll be there for us.”
Graham joined many other Republicans in voting against the Sandy relief package because they believed it contained too much “pork” meaning money for things other than the hurricane.
“Unfortunately, this bill goes far beyond assisting the current needs of those affected by Sandy and includes tens of billions of dollars in spending for future disasters and other unrelated items,” Rep. Dan Coats, R-Indiana, said at the time in a statement that echoed a sentiment many lawmakers had.
The rains set records all over the state, flooding entire towns. For some locations, this historic rainfall qualifies as a 1,000-year rain event, meaning in a given year there is a 1 in 1,000 chance of observing rainfall totals of this magnitude.
In the wake of the disastrous flooding event, President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration for the state of South Carolina, ordering federal aid to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts.