Gulf Coast Lawmaker Votes Against Sandy Relief

Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS), whose Mississippi district is situated on the Gulf Coast, was one of 67 Republicans on Friday to vote against a $9.7 billion relief package to victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Mississippi’s Fourth Congressional District, which Palazzo has represented since 2011, includes the city of Biloxi, one of the most heavily damaged communities in the region by Hurricane Katrina. Congress quickly passed an initial $10.5 billion relief package in the immediate aftermath of Katrina in September of 2005. Palazzo’s predecessor, former Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS), supported that legislation.

The Sandy relief legislation passed overwhelmingly on Friday, with the only “no” votes coming from Republican members.

Palazzo’s office did not immediately respond to TPM’s requests for comment.

Update: A spokeswoman for Palazzo provided TPM with a statement Friday in which she said the congressman hopes the debate over aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy will prompt a “national discussion on disaster relief reform.” Read the statement here.


Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at