Updated 3:15 pm: Twitter has a way of really highlighting the comity in Washington.
Louisiana Sen. David Vitter (R), upset with Harry Reid saying Hurricane Katrina was "nothing in comparison" to Hurricane Sandy and the devastation caused to the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut area, lashed out on the social network calling the Senate majority leader an "idiot."
Vitter later also released a statement with the same language and adding, "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."
On Friday, Reid said the following on the floor, urging passage of Sandy funding:
"I really do believe it is important that I have the record reflect the reason we have gotten as far as we have on Sandy is because of the senior Senator from New York. It is too bad that it has taken so long. When we had that devastation from Katrina, we were there within days taking care of Mississippi, Alabama, and especially Louisiana--within days. We are now past 2 months with the people of New York and New Jersey.
"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."
The Times-Pic writes:
"Sandy devastated some of the nation's most populated areas, but it didn't come close to Katrina. Hurricane Katrina, and the flooding that followed when federally built levees failed, killing 1,833 and causing more than $145 billion in damage. Sandy has been blamed for 120 deaths and over $80 billion in damage."
Monday afternoon, Reid released a statement saying he "misspoke" on Friday:
"In my recent comments criticizing House Republicans for threatening to betray Congress' tradition of providing aid to disaster victims in a timely fashion regardless of region, I simply misspoke. I am proud to have been an advocate for disaster victims in the face of Republican foot-dragging, from Hurricane Katrina to Hurricane Sandy, from fires in the west to tornadoes in the Midwest. I have worked hard with Senator Landrieu to ensure that the people of the Gulf Coast have the resources they need to fully recover, and I will continue to advocate on their behalf until the region is fully recovered."
The House passed a $9.7 billion Sandy recovery aid package Friday, which the Senate took up and passed by unanimous consent. The House is expected to take up another $51 billion aid package as a result of Sandy Jan. 15th, after it returns from recess.