Steve King: Don’t spend Sandy relief on ‘Gucci bags and massage parlors’
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) insisted on strict guidelines for any federal relief packages for victims of superstorm Sandy during a debate Tuesday night.
“I am going to ask them to lay this out,” King said, according to The Des Moines Register. “Don’t just throw a dart at the dartboard and say how much you need.”
King’s remark prompted criticism from his opponent and challenger for his House seat, former Iowa state first lady Christie Vilsack.
“Congressman King, your positions are extreme,” she said. “In Iowa, we take care of people. That’s all I think I need to say.”
The Huffington Post reported that King also defended his voting record on disaster relief, saying that in the wake of Hurricane Katrina seven years ago, money budgeted for helping victims of that storm was spent “on Gucci bags and massage parlors and everything you can think of in addition to what was necessary.”
King was one of just 11 GOP lawmakers to vote against a $51.8 billion relief package following the disaster, which he acknowledged made him the subject of criticism at the time.
“Sometimes you have to take lumps,” he said. “But you have to do the right thing.”
During a separate debate with Vilsack last week, he defended the vote, calling it “good” and “principled.”
A Post voter estimatehas Vilsack trailing King by four points, the strongest challenge King has faced since being elected nine years ago.