Politics
5:34 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Vitter Slings Mud After Katrina Belittled

Even days after Katrina passed, parts of New Orleans and surrounding areas were still underwater.
Credit Lieutenant Commander Mark Moran / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Senator David Vitter made his opinion of Senator Harry Reid clear this morning via twitter. "Sadly," Vitter wrote, "Harry Reid has again revealed himself to be an idiot, this time gravely insulting Gulf Coast residents."

Vitter was referring to a comment Reid made on the Senate floor on Friday. When Reid criticized the US House of Representatives for being too slow in delivering a relief package to Hurricane Sandy victims after the fiscal cliff debate, he stepped on more toes than he intended. "The people of New Orleans and that area, they were hurt," Reid said, "but nothing in comparison to what happened to the people in New York and New Jersey."

Reid tried to quantify the damage done by Sandy, saying the storm claimed over a million homes in the northeast. Statistics released by New York and New Jersey, however, suggest that number is drastically exaggerated.

Vitter noted in a statement on his website that the pricetag of damage left behind by Katrina was almost $50 billion more than that of Sandy. Katrina's deathtoll totaled over 1800 persons, while Sandy caused 131 deaths. Vitter said both storms caused "real human misery."

Though Vitter slammed Reid for his comments, the two Senators agree on the issue at hand: Reid and Vitter both voted for a $9.7 billion dollar relief package in the Senate last week. The House passed the package on Friday. The House is slated to vote on another $50 billion on January 15.

Senator Reid has apologized for his comments, saying he misspoke. Senator Mary Landrieu, Reid's fellow democrat, says Reid has been a strong advocate for the Gulf Coast's recovery.