Vitter rebukes Reid on Sandy remarks

Jan. 7, 2013 at 4:44 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. David Vitter Monday slammed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as an "idiot" for comparing Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina victims.

"Sadly, Harry Reid has again revealed himself to be an idiot, this time gravely insulting Gulf Coast residents," Vitter, R-La., posted on Twitter.

Reid's comments last week came as New York and New Jersey officials dumped on House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, for not calling a $60 billion Senate-passed measure providing aid to those two states for the damage caused by the superstorm, which made landfall Oct. 29.

Sandy caused an estimated $80 billion in damage and was blamed for 120 deaths in New York and New Jersey. Hurricane Katrina killed 1,833 people and caused $145 billion in damage along the Gulf Coast in 2005.

Reid's point was that Congress acted quickly in providing the first assistance package to Katrina victims, passing a $60 billion package 10 days after the storm. The House finally passed $9.7 billion in aid to Sandy victims Friday.

"The people of New Orleans and that area, they were hurt but nothing in comparison to what happened to the people in New York and New Jersey," Reid said. "Almost 1 million people have lost their homes. ... So I think it is just unfortunate that we do not have the relief for New York and New Jersey and the rest already."

"And by most any measure, Katrina was our worst natural disaster in history," Vitter said on his Facebook page.

After Vitter's tweet, Reid issued a statement, saying he "misspoke," CBS reported.

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