When a senator or public speaker discusses a given tragedy or law it’s always worth considering, “Yes, but what if it happened to him or her?” When Pat Robertson, outspoken Christian leader, suggested Oklahoma tornado victims should have prayed more, we wonder if he would say the same thing if his own house were hit by a tornado. Specifically, he said, “If enough people were praying He would’ve intervened, you could pray, Jesus stilled the storm, you can still storms.” Maybe some Robertson specific tragedy will soon even the score? But meanwhile, we have something a lot more like reciprocation with Sen. James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, the senior senator, who voted along with fellow Oklahoma senator Tom Coburn against a Hurricane Sandy relief bill. So does he want there to be no funding now that tornados have ravaged his home state? He sees the instances as “totally different.”
“They were getting things, for instance, that was supposed to be in New Jersey,” he told MSNBC. “They had things in the Virgin Islands. They were fixing roads there, they were putting roofs on houses in Washington, D.C. Everybody was getting in and exploiting the tragedy that took place. That won’t happen in Oklahoma.”
Whether things really are “totally different,” there are at least some differences. Sandy was the nation’s second most expensive storm, costing $50 billion, whereas Oklahoma has requested around $67 million since 1999 for its series of tornadoes. It is unclear what federal disaster relief will be given, though President Barack Obama did say on Tuesday he has signed for some relief.
Coburn at least is consistent in saying that he expects any relief for Oklahoma to be offset by cuts elsewhere in the federal budget. The spokesman for Inhofe declined to comment on whether or not Inhofe will also seek offsets.