“End the shameful filibuster of this essential disaster relief bill,” Leahy said from the Senate floor.

“[T]his is my state, this is my home, this is the home of my ancestors,” said Leahy while showing photos he said he had snapped from a helicopter of roads and train tracks that had been washed away by flood waters.

Most Senate Republicans on Monday night joined in a vote to block progress on a Senate-originated bill that would provide $6.9 billion in funding for FEMA. They opposed the bill on grounds that the it spends too much. The bill is still pending on the Senate floor.

Leahy went on to say that the Republicans' "unconscionable" opposition to the bill is based in politics.

"In my 37 years in the U.S. Senate, we have always dealt with disaster bills together,” Leahy said. “Can we afford to toss that tradition overboard?”

Leahy said that when President Obama visited the Capitol last week to deliver his jobs speech, he whispered words of encouragement to the senior senator from Vermont regarding the flood.