After Attacking Disaster Relief, Rep. Blackburn Asks For Disaster Relief

May 10, 2010 2:18 pm ET — Walid Zafar

Last July, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) chastised her colleagues for what she saw as their tendency to overreact during emergencies.  Blackburn, a favorite of the Tea Party remarked that politicians shouldn't "cry 'emergency' every time we have a Katrina, every time we have a Tsunami, every time we have a need for extra spending, that we don't go call for a special appropriation that allows us to circumvent the PAYGO rules."  She was soon forced to apologize for her comments.

Reacting to the incident, Steve Benen wondered, "I'm curious what Blackburn would say the next time there is a catastrophe on U.S. soil. 'Sorry, PAYGO is more important than the emergency'?" 

Now that many parts of her own district are flooded after severe storms wreaked havoc across large swaths of Tennessee, you would expect Blackburn to stay true to her conservative convictions and demand that any relief to Tennessee be paid for by cuts elsewhere.  Not a chance. 

Last week, she joined the rest of the Tennessee delegation in a letter supporting Gov. Phil Bredesen's request for federal aid, which the government approved

Bredesen asked President Obama on Monday to declare 52 counties federal disaster areas following the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that struck the state over the weekend. Twenty-seven counties have received declarations to date. In addition to the six counties announced today, counties authorized include: Carroll, Cheatham, Crockett, Davidson, Decatur, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Hardeman, Haywood, Henderson, Hickman, Houston, Madison, McNairy, Montgomery, Obion, Perry, Shelby, Tipton and Williamson.

"We can see President Obama and other federal officials continue to move quickly to process our requests and announce declarations for more counties," said Bredesen. "I expect us to continue to see additional counties authorized for federal assistance as the damage assessments continue, which will be tremendously helpful to Tennesseans who suffered losses as they work to rebuild."