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

01/04/2013 11:23 AM

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 is now pursuing an advanced degree in non-fiction writing from Murray State University and is a regular contributor to Pure Politics. Ryan has covered politics for more than 14 years, including seven years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Ryan can be reached at purepolitics@twcable.com or @mycn2 on Twitter.

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