Some Republicans who voted against federal aid for Hurricane Sandy victims are now demanding federal help for victims of this week's flooding in South Carolina, and that's triggered cries of hypocrisy. Michael Scotto filed the following report.
Soon after Hurricane Sandy ravaged New York and New Jersey, many Republicans in Congress lined up to oppose federal funding to help storm victims.
"We've got a trillion-dollar budget deficit, $1.1 trillion, to be precise, and we're just adding another $60 billion right on top of that," Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said on January 28, 2013.
Those opponents included South Carolina's two Republican senators, Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham, and every Republican member of the state's congressional delegation.
But now that Graham's home state is being devastated by deadly floods, the senator and the other South Carolina Republicans in Congress are changing their tune on federal disaster assistance.
"Rather than putting a price tag on it, let's just get through this thing and whatever it costs, it costs," Graham said Monday on CNN's "The Situation Room."
When pressed, Graham initially told CNN he couldn't recall voting "no" on the Sandy bill.
"I don't really remember that," he said.
His office later told us that Graham opposed it because it included spending that was "unrelated" to Sandy. But supporters of the Sandy relief measures say the package that finally cleared Congress had been stripped of most extraneous spending.
"99.9 percent of what was in the Sandy bill that passed the House was related just to areas affected by Sandy," said Rep. Peter King, whose district covers parts of Long Island. "At the time, a number of us said, 'Your day is going to come.' And in the past, we always voted for aid to the south when they had hurricanes. They really stiff-armed us, and what Lindsey did was wrong.
Graham isn't the first lawmaker to flip-flop on disaster aid. Earlier this year, Sen. Ted Cruz called on the federal government to assist flood victims in Texas, a little more than two years after he, too, had tried to block aid to the northeast.