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The Guardian

Texas Republican hypocrisy over federal aid is nothing new – ask Flyin ‘Ted Cruz

After Hurricane Sandy, the senator objected to relief from New York and New Jersey. It’s a rule for Texas, another for the rest of us Robert Reich: The Texas Freeze Shows a Chilling Truth About The Rich Ted Cruz is talking about on Capitol Hill. Photograph: Olivier Douliery / AFP / Getty Images Texas has been struck by a disaster of its own accord and its Republican officials expect the rest of the United States to pay to clean up the mess. To quote CNN’s Dana Bash interviewing GOP Congress veteran Michael McCaul on Sunday: “It’s pretty rich, don’t you think? Despite all their bravado and anti-government rhetoric, in the wake of calamities like last week’s deep freeze, the Lone Star Republicans have made a habit of passing the plate. Their suffering is also ours. But when the shoe is on the other foot, they resent being kind to others. Said differently, Ted Cruz is only a grotesque illustration, not an exception. Take a walk in the past. In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck New York and New Jersey. As the Northeast faltered, Republicans in Texas withdrew, treating the region as if it were just another country. As if the civil war was not over. After the year was out, Cruz, fellow Senator John Cornyn, and 23 of Texas’ two dozen Republicans in the House gave Sandy their thumbs up. Heads less hostile by reflex prevailed. The relief bill authorized Congress. But the Texans in the GOP had left their mark. Peter King, then Republican Representative from Long Island, understood the meanness and stupidity when he saw it. He called for an end to donations to Republicans who opposed the rescue of sister states. “These Republicans have no problem finding New York City when they are raising millions of dollars,” King said. “What they did last night was put a knife behind New Yorkers and New Jerseyers. It was an absolute shame. Ted Cruz is nothing if not performative, never in front of Janus But Cruz in particular is nothing if not performative, never in front of Janus. After Hurricane Harvey criticized Houston in 2017, he offered that explanation to his vote four years earlier: Sandy’s relief had become “a $ 50 billion bill filled with unrelated pork.” Cruz also intoned: “What I said then and I still believe today is that it is not fair for politicians to exploit a disaster when people are suffering to pay. their own political wish list. Apart from perhaps Cruz’s wife who has suffered for a long time, we do not know if anyone believed in Flyin ‘Ted even then. Cruz may have returned home alone, leaving his family in Cancún, but he is not the only one among the Republicans in Texas who hates Blue America. He’s just the most famous. Unlike Congressman Louie Gohmert, Cruz traveled to Princeton and Harvard. He probably should and knows better. In 2019, as part of Donald Trump’s overhaul of tax laws, Kevin Brady, a Texan then chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, virtually eliminated local and state tax deductibility from federal tax returns, in order to pay an increase -bracket and corporate gift. New York and New Jersey are still feeling the bite. Under Trump, the economy failed to push through 3% per year growth, and a much-vaunted manufacturing renaissance did not occur. Covid has made the situation worse. And now, there it is, Texas is forced, cap in hand, to rub shoulders with a Democratic House, a Senate and a White House. Majority leader and Brooklyn-born Senator Chuck Schumer has to suppress a smile. To be sure, the federal government and Congress must help Texas. No ifs, ands, or buts. Joe Biden treats the state much better than Trump did in Puerto Rico. This is a good thing. Innocent lives have been lost and turned upside down in the name of a backward ideology masked as politics. Real people, families and businesses have been destroyed. The denial of climate change comes at a high human cost. Staying away from the national electricity grid is not independence. It is a death wish under another name. Confederation 2.0. Alexander Stephens, Vice President of the Separatist States, summed up this attitude in 1861: “If the port of Charleston needs improvement, let Charleston trade bear the burden. If the mouth of the Savannah River is to be cleared, let the maritime navigation that benefits from it shoulder the burden. Sounds familiar? Except when it came to pushing back Abraham Lincoln, Confederation was not a pact of mutual assistance. Before this latest artificial debacle, Republicans dreamed of drowning the government in a bathtub. Hopefully that will change in Texas.


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