Rogers and 3 other Ky. Congressmen support Hurricane Sandy relief bill; Barr and Massie vote no

01/04/2013 12:23 PM

UPDATED: After getting pummeled earlier this week by New York congressmen over Hurricane Sandy relief funding, U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Somerset, underscored his support for the measure on Friday along with three other Kentucky congressman.

The bill, which provides $9.7 billion in Federal Emergency Management Agency funding to those affected by last fall’s superstorm, passed the House 354-67 Friday morning.

Rogers, who serves as House Appropriations Committee Chairman, faced criticism from New York and New Jersey lawmakers earlier this week when he defended House leaders’ decision not to pass the measure before the 112th Congress ended Tuesday. Rogers said FEMA had enough money for two more months — a statement that infuriated New York Republican Peter King, who said on CNN that Rogers should “stay out of New York” when wanting to raise campaign money.

A spokeswoman from the House Appropriations Committee said Friday that “Mr. King has since retracted those remarks. He was mistaken, and was under the wrong impression that the Chairman did not support Sandy funding – which was clearly not the case as the Chairman is the SPONSOR of the relief bill.”

On Friday, three other Kentucky U.S. House members joined Rogers in voting for the bill: Republicans Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green and Ed Whitfield of Hopkinsville and Democrat John Yarmuth of Louisville.

Freshmen Republican U.S. Reps. Thomas Massie of Vanceburg and Andy Barr of Lexington voted against the bill. It was the first vote on a major policy bill for Barr, who pledged during his campaign to vote to hold down federal spending.

Barr said in a statement to Pure Politics on Friday that he supports funding the relief but wants to make sure any additional spending is balanced out by cuts. Here’s his statement:

“As I have traveled the Sixth District, people have consistently asked me to bring common sense to Washington, and pay for what we spend. I strongly support getting immediate federal relief to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. But Congress should be willing to work harder to get our job done in a fiscally responsible manner. We should have stayed here as late as necessary to offset the emergency appropriations with an equal amount of savings.”

_This article was updated to reflect the statement from the House Appropriations Committee regarding Rep. King’s comments. _

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He has covered politics for more than 10 years, including 7 years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Follow Ryan on Twitter @cn2Alessi. Ryan can be reached at 502-792-1135 or


  • viewer wrote on January 04, 2013 01:06 PM :

    Now barr and massie get it. If we give back them yankees their tax dollars they paid in , what are us southern states suppose to live off of ???? The gop is in good hands with these young fellows kentuckians.

  • St. Francis wrote on January 04, 2013 06:31 PM :

    Nice to see that Barr is a compassionate conservative. Can’t believe we actually elected this numbskull.

  • Annabel S. Girard wrote on January 04, 2013 08:12 PM :

    It will be interesting to see how devoted Barr will be to holding down overall spending if Kentucky faces a disaster similar to Hurricane Sandy.

  • Mike wrote on January 05, 2013 12:48 PM :

    I can’t wait to see how they treat Kentuckians (badly) when it comes to most things. Both of them bought the elections with BIG outside money and telling outlandish lies about their opponents.

    And, “viewer,” you are right. Kentucky receives a lot more federal money than it pays in. Will Barr and Massie say, “You folk in West Liberty are on your own?” I am literally afraid they might.


  • waybert17 wrote on January 12, 2013 02:27 AM :

    Just wondering how sending money to Alaska and California, as was in this legislation, is going to help the victims of Sandy? Shouldn’t all the cash be going to New York/New Jersey? I can well understand why Massie/Barr voted against this bill, since money was being taken away from Sandy victims…and being given to those who really didn’t need it. Don’t you all care about the Sandy victims, or not? Please, don’t let partisanship blind you to this truth that monies that should have been going to Sandy victims was going to non-victims, Americans who did not need the money.

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