By Rebecca Shapiro, Huffington Post
"It’s not really political sniping, senator.”
MSNBC correspondent Katy Tur shut down Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Monday night for saying critics calling him out for opposing a 2012 relief package to aid the victims of Hurricane Sandy were engaging in “political sniping.”
“It’s not really political sniping,” Tur interrupted. “These are people who needed money and who needed funding right after that storm."
As the unprecedented Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath continues to pummel Texas, lawmakers in New York and New Jersey have been criticizing their Texas colleagues for potential hypocrisy ― asking for aid for their state when they were unwilling to support relief for storm victims in another part of the country. At the time, all but one Texas Republican in Congress voted against a $50.5 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package in 2013.
“I covered those people,” Tur continued, speaking of the victims of Hurricane Sandy. “Many of them, just like those in Houston, lost just about everything they owned.”
Cruz maintained on Monday that he supports disaster relief but that Hurricane Sandy’s relief package was exploitative and “filled with unrelated pork.”
“Two-thirds of that bill had nothing to do with Sandy,” Cruz argued. “What I said then and still believe now is that it’s not right for politicians to exploit a disaster when people are hurting to pay for their own political wish list.”
As HuffPost’s Matt Fuller and Kaeli Subberwal previously reported, the Sandy relief package had short-term aid and longer term projects, some of which were geared toward future hurricane forecasting.
MSNBC host Katy Tur had her facts ready on Monday when she interviewed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz about Hurricane Harvey and his history of voting against federal aid for hurricanes.
Tur noted in her interview with Cruz that his constituents would be asking for aid in the wake of the storm.
“Can you guarantee that they will get that aid and they will get the aid that they need?” she wondered.
Cruz said he had spoken to a number of administration officials and he said that President Donald Trump had instructed them via video conference to make federal resources available.
Before ending the interview, Tur reminded Cruz that he had fought funding for hurricanes in the northeast.
“[Northeast Republicans] are pointing at you and they’re saying, ‘You’re asking for money now when you weren’t willing to help the people in the Northeast?'” Tur charged.
Cruz accused his collegues of “political sniping” and said that it was the wrong time to discuss disaster funding.
“It’s not really political sniping, Senator,” Tur interrupted. “These are people who needed money and needed funding right after that storm. I covered those people. Many of them, just like those in Houston, lost absolutely everything they owned.