Sen. John CornynJohn CornynNew GOP ObamaCare repeal bill gains momentum Week ahead: Senators near deal to stabilize ObamaCare markets GOP eying 'blue slip' break to help Trump fill the courts MORE (R-Texas) on Tuesday defended his vote against an emergency relief funding bill following Hurricane Sandy in 2012 as Congress considers how to dispense aid in response to the storm rocking Texas.

"To be accurate, I voted for $23.8 billion in Sandy funding," Cornyn told reporters while standing next to Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea GOP state lawmakers meet to plan possible constitutional convention MORE (R-Texas), who nodded. "The reason I voted against the larger bill is because it included other things that weren't Sandy superstorm-related."

Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas last Friday, bringing record rainfall that has caused extensive flooding and billions of dollars in damage to properties in the populous Houston metropolitan area. 

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The Texas lawmakers were two of the 36 senators who voted against the final federal relief package in 2013 for Sandy recovery efforts. Cornyn has defended his decision in the past, arguing it was based on "unrelated" appropriations included in the bill. 

"It's important to remember that these supplemental appropriations for these emergencies are an exception," Cornyn told reporters Tuesday when asked if the lawmakers would work to make sure that Harvey relief came in the form of a "clean" funding bill.

"It's not the standard way the Congress appropriates money, and there was always an opportunity to come back behind that after that money was depleted to do more. So that's the thought here," Cornyn said.