In an interview with The Hill this week, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) boasted that “the best vote” he ever cast while in Congress was to deny $52 billion in aid to Hurricane Katrina victims. Yesterday, the Times-Picayune, New Orleans’ award-winning newspaper, calls King’s comments “heartless” and “appalling,” especially because he is from “a state that’s also vulnerable to flooding“:
Greater New Orleans suffered catastrophic destruction not only because of a powerful storm but because the flood protection system built by the federal government failed.
While some lawmakers from other parts of the country showed a lack of concern and understanding after Katrina — even questioning the wisdom of rebuilding our community — it’s hard to understand how a lawmaker from Iowa, a state that’s also vulnerable to flooding, could be unwilling to help.
Even now, officials in Des Moines are complaining about a slow and inadequate response to their flood recovery — including the lament that FEMA is underestimating the amount of money needed to replace public buildings. That’s something that South Louisianians can understand, and in fact, we feel for Iowans.
Unfortunately, when it counted, Rep. King didn’t feel for us.