WASHINGTON -- Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a candidate for the U.S. Senate, has voted at least five times against bills aimed at preventing and responding to disasters, in two cases even though a resounding majority of his own party supported the bill.
Flake is a frequent "nay" voter in general, particularly on spending bills, yet he votes with the Republican Party nearly 90 percent of the time. His office could not be reached for comment on Tuesday morning, nor could his Senate campaign.
Most recently, Flake voted against appropriations for disaster relief for the 2012 fiscal year, as did 65 other GOP House members and one Democrat, Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennessee. The bill was nonetheless passed by Congress and signed into law at the end of December 2011.
Also last year, Flake voted against the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011, which passed the House with bipartisan support from 218 Republicans and 188 Democrats.
Flake opposed the 2010 version of that legislation, albeit with more colleagues on his side. The bill passed the House despite 90 "no" votes -- from 89 Republicans and then-Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.). In that case, a slight majority of his fellow Republicans were with Flake: Only 85 GOP House members supported the bill.
Even during his first term in Congress, Flake was one of only three House members to vote against a bill aimed at forecasting inland flooding. The Inland Flood Forecasting and Warning System Act of 2002 passed the House with 413 "ayes" and only three "nays": Flake, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and then-Rep. Brian Kerns (R-Ind.).
And when the House in September 2005 approved supplemental emergency funds to handle damage from Hurricane Katrina, which had devastated the Gulf Coast, Flake was one of only 11 members all of them Republicans, to vote against the bill. Reps. Ron Paul (R-Texas), Steve King (R-Iowa) and Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) were among the others to vote no.
Flake is currently running to replace retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.). He leads his Democratic opponent, Richard Carmona, by 1.2 percentage points, according to an estimate from HuffPost Pollster.
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