In South Carolina, at least 11 counties have requested the declaration of a state of emergency following the floods caused by Hurricane Joaquin over the weekend. Torrential rains forced thousands of residents to flee their homes across the state’s low-lying areas, and at least 14 people have lost their lives as a result of the high waters. Senator Lindsey Graham (R) was quick to ask the federal government for aid following the floods in his home state. His request doesn’t seem all that unreasonable, given the extent of the flooding and devastation to local communities that were unprepared for the torrential rain. The troubling thing about Sen. Graham’s request is that he adamantly opposed similar federal aid to New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2013. And he doesn’t remember it.
Politicians vote on a lot of measures during their tenure, and it seems reasonable to think they can’t remember every single vote. However, on such an historic and monumental tragedy as Hurricane Sandy, one would think the South Carolina senator would be able to recall his position. It doesn’t seem to be the case. When asked why he is asking for aid in South Carolina after opposing Sandy relief, Graham denied having a recollection of his ‘no’ vote. “I’m all for helping the people in New Jersey. I don’t really remember me voting that way,” Graham said. When pressed further, he said, “Anyway, I don’t really recall that, but I’d be glad to look and tell you why I did vote no, if I did.”
Graham voted against the $51 billion Sandy relief package in January 2013 along with many other Republicans. At the time, most of those opposed criticized the aid package because it included what they felt was too much spending on unrelated programs. In his request for aid relief for South Carolina in the aftermath of Hurricane Joaquin, Graham said that he wouldn’t ask the federal government to pay for anything that it was not responsible for. In light of his refusal to help hurricane victims in New Jersey and surrounding states just two years ago, we’re not sure what that means.
President Barack Obama did sign a disaster declaration for the state of South Carolina, ordering federal aid to supplement state and local recovery expenses. Oh, and in case you haven’t been keeping up: Graham wants to be next in line for Obama’s job.
Images via Senator Lindsey Graham/Facebook