Sen. John CornynJohn CornynAfter Texas shooting, lawmakers question whether military has systemic reporting problem Overnight Defense: Lawmakers question military's lapse after Texas shooting | Trump asks North Korea to 'make a deal' | Senate panel approves Army pick Overnight Regulation: House passes bill to overturn joint-employer rule | Trump officials to allow work requirements for Medicaid | Lawmakers 'alarmed' by EPA's science board changes 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 CruzOvernight Finance: GOP criticism of tax bill grows, but few no votes | Highlights from day two of markup | House votes to overturn joint-employer rule | Senate panel approves North Korean banking sanctions GOP criticism of tax bill grows, but few ready to vote against it Anti-gay marriage county clerk Kim Davis to seek reelection in Kentucky 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.