Palazzo only Mississippi congressman voting against Sandy relief - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Palazzo Mississippi's only congressman to vote against Sandy relief

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WASHINGTON, DC (WLOX) -

Mississippi's 4th District Congressman, Steven Palazzo, was among 67 House members on Friday to vote against a $9.7 billion relief package for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

All of the "no" votes came from Republicans. Palazzo, whose 4th District was one of the most heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, was the only Mississippi representative to vote against the relief package.

The bill replenishes the National Flood Insurance Program that was due to run out of money next week with the pending Sandy-related claims as well as 5,000 unresolved claims from other floods.

WLOX News tried to reach Representative Palazzo Friday afternoon to comment on his reasons for the "no" vote. And while we weren't able to speak with the congressman himself, a spokesperson said the vote shouldn't be interpreted as a lack of support for Sandy victims.

"Congressman Palazzo fully supports a Sandy relief package that includes spending offsets," spokesperson Laura Chambers explained in a statement. "On the heels of a fiscal cliff deal that added $4 trillion to our existing $16 trillion national debt, we must ensure that disaster relief is paid for.  He also hopes we will be able to have a much-needed national discussion on disaster relief reform in the coming days."

According to the Associated Press, many of the Republicans who voted against the bill said other government programs should have been cut to pay for the measure. As with past natural disasters, the Sandy aid proposals do not provide for offsetting spending cuts, meaning the aid comes at the cost of higher deficits.

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