When Ron DeSantis entered Congress, he joined the Freedom Caucus, the far-right members of the House. His very first vote was in opposition to aid for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, which pummeled New York City and the New Jersey coast.

The New York Times noted:

As a freshman congressman in 2013, Ron DeSantis was unambiguous: A federal bailout for the New York region after Hurricane Sandy was an irresponsible boondoggle, a symbol of the “put it on the credit card mentality” he had come to Washington to oppose.

But any hurricane that harmed a Red state got his vote. Four years after opposing federal aid for Sandy relief, he supported aid for victims of Hurricane Irma, which affected his own state.

The Washington Post wrote about GOP hypocrisy on hurricane relief. When a hurricane hits a Red state, they are for it. In the rare instance when the disaster is in a Blue state, not so much.

The GOP movement to question spending on disaster relief began to pick up amid the debate over Hurricane Katrina aid in 2005. Only 11 House Republicans voted against the $50 billion-plus package, but others cautioned that they’d be drawing a harder line moving forward, particularly if the spending wasn’t offset with cuts elsewhere.

“Congress must ensure that a catastrophe of nature does not become a catastrophe of debt for our children and grandchildren,” said future vice president Mike Pence, then a congressman from Indiana.

After the tea party movement took hold around 2010, members began to hold that line. A $9.7 billion flood relief bill for Hurricane Sandy was considered noncontroversial, even passing by voice vote in the Senate. But 67 House Republicans voted against it, including DeSantis.

Then came a larger, $50 billion Sandy bill. Fully 36 Senate Republicans voted against it, as did 179 House Republicans — the vast majority of GOP contingents in both chambers (again including DeSantis). They objected not just because the spending wasn’t offset, but because they viewed it as too large and not sufficiently targeted in scope or timing to truly constitute hurricane relief.

By the time 2017 rolled around, though, DeSantis wasn’t the only one who didn’t seem to be holding as hard a line. Despite the bill lacking such spending offsets, the GOP “no” votes on a $36.5 billion aid bill for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria numbered only 17 in the Senate and 69 in the House.

Such votes show how malleable such principled stands can be, depending on where disaster strikes.

For instance, only three of 18 House Republicans from Florida voted for the larger Sandy bill, but every one of them voted for the 2017 bill that included aid for their home state.

Likewise, of the 49 House GOP “yes” votes on the larger Sandy bill, nearly half came from states that were directly affected, including every Republican from New York and New Jersey.

One of those New Jersey Republicans was Rep. Scott Garrett, who actually introduced the smaller Sandy bill. Just eight years before, he had been one of those 11 Republicans who voted against the Katrina package.

If you comb through all of these votes, you’ll notice that, the larger Sandy bill aside, lawmakers who come from states that are particularly vulnerable to hurricanes (i.e. along the Gulf Coast) are generally less likely to be among the hard-liners — perhaps owing to the fact that they know their states could be next in line.

That’s where DeSantis’s votes do stand out. On the first Sandy bill, he was one of just two Florida Republicans to vote no, and very few members from the Gulf Coast joined them.

It’s a stand that served notice of his intent to legislate as a tea party conservative; he cast the vote just a day after being sworn in to Congress.

Democrats don’t seem to have the same problem. They typically support disaster aid, even in Red states.

It’s also noteworthy that DeSantis has switched gears in addressing President Biden, whom he usually refers to as “Brandon” (a rightwing synonym for “F… you, Biden”). Now, for the moment, he calls him “Mr.President.” And he can be sure that Democratic President Biden will respond with federal aid for the victims of Hurricane Ian in Florida.

Politifact reports how DeSantis and Rubio voted on hurricane relief.