Scalise Rejects Colleague's Notion that Disasters Are God's Way of 'Telling People to Move'

Posted: Sep 25, 2017 12:00 PM

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) is starting to inject his voice back into the political arena after his harrowing experience on the baseball field over the summer. Scalise was shot in the hip at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, VA by a man who wished harm on Republican lawmakers. Several prayers and surgeries later, Scalise is ready to work his way back to his congressional duties.

One of his first orders of business was to correct something his colleague Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) said about the devastating floods down south. With storm after storm hitting the likes of Texas and Florida, God is telling residents "to move," Hensarling suggested in a CNBC interview.

"At some point, God's telling you to move," Hensarling said. "If all we do is force federal taxpayers to build the same homes in the same fashion, in the same location and expect a different result, we all know that's the classic definition of insanity. ... Maybe we pay for your home once, maybe even pay for it twice, but at some point the taxpayer's got to quit paying and you've got to move."

As Politico noted, the representative's controversial comments may upend his proposed changes for flood insurance programs. Hensarling, the chairman of the Financial Services Committee, is seeking to restrict flood insurance program premium discounts. Critics say it's cruel, but Hensarling explained in a statement that his changes will fix a "government monopoly" that "forces people to live in harm's way."

Scalise spoke up and issue a subtle rebuke of Hensarling's take on the devastating natural disasters that have forced people to flee their homes.

"My prayers go out to the people of Texas still recovering from one of America's most devastating storms," Scalise said in a statement. "God doesn't wish ill on people whose homes represent their slice of the American Dream."

The recovering representative, who is learning to walk again at a D.C. rehabilitation center, has yet to return to Capitol Hill, but he has been thrilling his colleagues by phoning in to conference calls and whip meetings.

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