Steve King: Sandy Relief Money Shouldn’t Be For ‘Gucci Bags And Massage Parlors’

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Rep. Steve King (R-IA) says that the East Coast can get federal aid to deal with the devastation from Superstorm Sandy — but they’ll have to draw up a detailed plan first to prevent it from being wasted on things like Gucci bags and massage parlors.

“I want to get them the resources that are necessary to lift them out of this water and this sand and the ashes and the death that’s over there in the East Coast and especially the Northeast,” King said at a debate Tuesday night, according to Radio Iowa. “But they need to come with a plan on how to spend it.”

King defended his vote seven years ago, when he was one of only 11 members of Congress to vote against a $52 billion second installment of aid for the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. King had voted for the $10.5 billion first installment but explained that he opposed the content of the second package, which included temporary trailer homes and measures to plan for future disasters.

“Can you imagine in the middle of a disaster to ask for appropriations for mitigating future disasters?” King said. “That’s why I said no on that second round of appropriations for Katrina…because they spent it on Gucci bags and massage parlors and everything you can think of — in addition to what was necessary.”

Christie Vilsack, King’s Democratic opponent and the wife of former Iowa Governor and current Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, rebutted King:

“Comments like that, Congressman King, are heartless,” she said, according to the radio station. “You were one of 11 congresspeople who voted against flood relief in Hurricane Katrina and you said it was the proudest vote that you ever took.”

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