Little Rock (KATV) - U.S. Senator Corey Booker (D-New Jersey) was in Arkansas on Saturday at the request of Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas). The two senators stood together at the capitol to speak about the importance of federal disaster assistance for communities destroyed by storms. Sen. Pryor and Sen. Booker touted Representative Tom Cotton's (R-Arkansas) votes against disaster relief funding bills. "When he voted against this other funding, and he did it a number of times, basically what he was doing is voting to say we don't want to have those resources available when we need them" Said Senator Pryor. One of the bills dealt with Super Storm Sandy relief. Booker was the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey when the storm hit the northeast in 2012. Representative Tom Cotton responded by saying the bills he voted against contained pork barrel spending and would raise national debt. Cotton released a statement in his defense saying: "Like all Americans, I offer my prayers and sympathy to our fellow citizens when they fall victim to natural disasters, which is why I support annual FEMA funding and the traditional disaster-aid process," said Cotton in a post press conference statement. "What I will not support are Washington politicians who take advantage of a terrible tragedy by larding up emergency relief packages with pork projects that aid those politicians' re-election campaigns instead of aiding storm victims." Before the press conference, Sen. Booker toured Mayflower with Sen. Pryor. "I got that same sort of sick feeling I had for many weeks surveying the damage after Hurricane Sandy", Said Sen. Booker when asked how Sandy compared to last month's tornado. Sen. Pryor gave an update on some of the federal relief efforts in Arkansas. Pryor said that FEMA visited with 1,800 homeowners, about half of the storm debris has been removed, $2.3 million in assistance has been distributed to storm victims and $2.5 million in low interest business loans have been processed.
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