Recently presidential candidate John McCain took a trip to Iowa where he visited some of the areas most damaged by the June flooding. McCain and crew ignored a request, from Iowa’s governor, to forego the visit although Iowa officials feared the campaign visit may distract security from the state’s massive flood recovery efforts. During his visit McCain took the opportunity to tell residents of an effected town “I am confident that there will be immediate relief”.
Perhaps McCain’s confidence comes from knowing that support is available through the recent Water Resources Development Act, a bill passed last year.
The Water Resources Development Act was passed in the Senate on November 9, 2007 with a Senate vote of 81-12. President Bush did veto the bill, but lawmakers were able to count enough votes to over-ride the veto. Both Democrats and Republicans chose to support this bill which appropriated $23 billion to critical projects including repairs to flood damage and wetland area, as well as preventing flooding to communities around the country. Among the small number of lawmakers opposing the bill included Senator McCain: although he was not present for the vote, McCain vocally opposed it.
Last year McCain said that he opposed the $23 billion Water Resources Development Act because it included projects he considered wasteful. The program funds the production of levees and flood prevention programs which at the time of the vote McCain considered “pork”.
Today, thousands of Americans are still piecing together the remains from the early June floods. Instead of offering kind words to those most affected by natural disasters, maybe next time McCain will support positive legislation before the storm hits.