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During Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Katrina Vote Haunts King

Congressman Steve King's decision to vote against sending billions in relief to Hurricane Katrina victims in 2005 has gotten national attention in light of Storm Sandy

Anyone hoping for disaster assistance might not want to ask 4th District Candidate Steve King, R-Kiron for any.

He was one of 11 members of Congress who voted against sending $51.8 billion to assist victims after Hurricane Katrina.

In a recent debate on Iowa Public Television, King called it a principled vote.

“I said that there will be all kinds of wasted funds. There’s no plan to spend it,” King said, according to a transcript. “I got beaten up on by many of the newspapers around, but I stood on that and I said it’s a principled vote and it will be easier to defend every day,” he said in response to an ad about him.

King voted on the measure on Sept. 8, 2005. The Huffington Post ran a story on the subject Tuesday afternoon.

Newspapers that criticized his 2005 decision came back later and said King was right to object to the funding, including the Sioux City Journal, which printed an article called "Steve King Was Right," which follows below:

He said the federal government needed to develop a comprehensive plan for spending aid dollars, including input from members of Congress, before more money was appropriated. He earlier had voted for a $10.5 billion emergency aid package.

Well, after reading an Associated Press story about a report that details how perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars in Katrina disaster aid have been misspent, it appears we were wrong and King was right about his vote on the $52 billion.

The report issued Monday by the Government Accountability Office and the Homeland Security Department's inspector general paint an appalling picture of how huge amounts of federal aid was squandered through overcharges, poor accounting and abuses. Among the GAO findings: 900,000 of the 2.5 million applicants who received aid under an emergency cash assistance program based their requests on duplicate or invalid Social Security numbers or false addresses and names.

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