President Obama on Sunday signed a bill freeing up $9.7 billion in flood insurance aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy. The moment provided another look into Republican politics and two of the party's youngest stars: Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Paul Ryan.
Ryan voted against the aid, joining a band of conservatives, such as Florida Reps. Ted Yoho and Ron DeSantis. But Rubio supported the money.
That sounds off, but it's not. Yes, Rubio voted against $60.4 billion in aid for Sandy, contending it was packed with pork. But House Speaker John Boehner split up the money with the first part being the $9.7 billion Ryan opposed. The bill went to the Senate where it passed via voice voice. Rubio spokesman Alex Conant said he supported it, calling it a "clean" appropriation.
Ryan, however, explained his no vote along the same lines as Rubio did initially. "Unfortunately, Washington's legislative response fails on both counts," he said in a statement. "It refuses to distinguish—or even prioritize—disaster relief over pork-barrel spending."
Presumably Rubio will have issues with the rest of the funding when it arrives from the House.
Rubio and Ryan votes are being closely watched as both are possible presidential candidates in 2016. The flood aid is overshadowed by their bigger difference on the fiscal cliff deal. Rubio voted no, sketching out a conservative position while Ryan voted said yes to compromise.