Fact Checker: Ted Cruz's Claim About Sandy 'Wildly Incorrect'

His claim that two-thirds of bill was unrelated to the hurricane is wrong, says Fact Checker
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2017 8:37 AM CDT

Ted Cruz is among the lawmakers being accused of hypocrisy for seeking federal relief in the wake of Hurricane Harvey even though he opposed similar relief after Hurricane Sandy. Cruz explains his Sandy relief opposition thusly: "The problem with that particular bill is it became a $50 billion bill that was filled with unrelated pork," he told CNN. "Two-thirds of that bill had nothing to do with Sandy." Enter Glenn Kessler of the Fact Checker blog at the Washington Post. After looking into Cruz's claim about the Sandy bill being laden with pork, he dispenses three Pinocchios—a ranking bestowed for "significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions." The issue revolves around a $50.5 billion aid package that passed Congress in 2013 without the support of Texas Republicans.

"Cruz is repeating a number of myths about the funding for Sandy disaster relief," writes Kessler, whose post runs through several examples. "The vast majority of the spending was for Hurricane Sandy, including elements (such as Smithsonian repairs) that some lawmakers incorrectly believed were unrelated to the storm." In his statement to CNN, Cruz probably meant to say, as he had earlier, that much of the money would be doled out over long periods and thus not "emergency" relief in his eyes. "Still, it is wildly incorrect to claim that the bill was 'filled with unrelated pork,'" writes Kessler, who cites a CBO analysis of the legislation. "The bill was largely aimed at dealing with Sandy, along with relatively minor items to address other or future disasters." Click for the full assessment. (Read more Ted Cruz stories.)

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