Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. , retreats to a closed-door meeting with fellow Democrats as he and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. , work to negotiate a legislative path to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff," at the Capitol in Washington, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. (Photo: AP)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) "again revealed himself to be an idiot" after belittling the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in an effort to secure a relief package for Superstorm Sandy, Louisiana Senator David Vitter (R) tweeted Monday.
On Friday, Reid lamented how long it has taken the federal government to provide relief for Sandy victims. To emphasize his point, Reid claimed:
"The people of New Orleans and that area, they were hurt but nothing in comparison to what happened to the people in New York and New Jersey. Almost 1 million people have lost their homes; 1 million people lost their homes. That is homes, that is not people in those homes. So I think it is just unfortunate that we do not have the relief for New York and New Jersey and the rest already. It has to be done. We have to meet the needs of the American people when an act of God occurs." [Emphasis added]
Here's the video:
A statement from Senator Vitter's office elaborates on his critical tweet:
Both Katrina and Sandy were horribly destructive storms that caused real human misery. And by most any measure, Katrina was our worst natural disaster in history...
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused 1,833 deaths and over $108 billion in damage. Hurricane Sandy has caused 131 deaths and $65 billion in damage. These numbers are according to the National Hurricane Center.
Residents wait on a rooftop to be rescued from the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina, in this Sept. 1, 2005, file photo, in New Orleans. (AP / David J. Phillip)
The House passed a $9.7 billion aid package on Friday which, according to various reports, was filled with unneccessary "pork." Regardless, the Senate passed it with unanimous consent shortly thereafter. According to NBC News, the House is expected to consider another $51 billion aid package after returning from recess on January 15.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Harry Reid has attempted to backtrack on the senator's previous comments.
Apparently, Reid was only trying to talk about the "economic impact in a more dense metropolitan area."
"Of course, he wasn't in any way underplaying what happened with Katrina in terms of tragic loss of life," the spokesman emphasized.