UPDATE: The spokesman for Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, said today that the congressman had nothing to do with the House's failure last week to keep $40 million in federal disaster grants flowing to south Texas victims of Hurricane Ike. Just days after the office of Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, blamed Tiahrt, and Cornyn and other lawmakers called on the responsible congressman to explain himself, a second Houston Chronicle story put the blame on House GOP leadership and on Republican members of the Appropriations Committee other than Tiahrt. The Republicans' view, according to congressional staffers, was that Texas had taken too long to spend its share of a 2008 disaster grant for $600 million and that the request from the Senate to pass the bill by unanimous consent was too last-minute. "Congressman Tiahrt was never consulted about this matter and knew nothing about it. Whoever said he was involved in any discussions about the bill apparently had misinformation," Tiahrt communications director Sam Sackett told WE Blog, in a statement.
Original post: Tiahrt versus Texas? The name of Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, is mud in the Houston-Galveston area, thanks to Tiahrt's refusal Wednesday night to go along with a request that a disaster relief bill be passed by unanimous consent. "I'm greatly disappointed that this bipartisan legislation was obstructed by one person, and he needs to step up and explain his actions to Texans and families in other impacted states," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, amid reports that social service agencies were laying off people and ending services because of the loss of $40 million for those affected by Hurricane Ike. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, told the Houston Chronicle that the House leadership told her the bill failed because a member didn't have time to read it.