UPDATE: Reid just put out this statement on Monday at noon PT:
"In my recent comments criticizing House Republicans for threatening to betray Congress' tradition of providing aid to disaster victims in a timely fashion regardless of region, I simply misspoke. I am proud to have been an advocate for disaster victims in the face of Republican foot-dragging, from Hurricane Katrina to Hurricane Sandy, from fires in the west to tornadoes in the Midwest. I have worked hard with Senator Landrieu to ensure that the people of the Gulf Coast have the resources they need to fully recover, and I will continue to advocate on their behalf until the region is fully recovered."
So Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the floor Friday, which, of course, was picked up by FOX and other conservative outlets.
A Reid spokeswoman told me the senator was talking more about the "economic impact in a more dense metropolitan area....but, of course, he wasn't in any way underplaying what happened with Katrina in terms of tragic loss of life." (About 1,500 died in Katrina; about 110 because of Sandy.)
Here's the clip of Hurricane Harry -- and below is the transcript from the Library of Congress:
Mr. REID . Mr. President, in the years I have served in legislative bodies, which is quite a long time now, it is interesting to see how different people approach the legislative process. I have learned over the years there is nothing more important than people working hard. You have to be tenacious to get legislation passed. The leader of passing Sandy over here--and I am confident when we get back in a couple of weeks after the House works on theirs, the same dynamic will be here--the senior Senator from New York has worked tirelessly to get legislation passed. He has led a team effort of Senators from New Jersey and his partner, Senator Gillibrand, but the leader, the quarterback, has been the Senator from New York. The work he has done not only in the Senate, but having the many years of experience he had in the House of Representatives, the Presiding Officer, the senior Senator from New York, worked day and night making phone calls, personal contacts with people in New York and New Jersey who could call House Members and have them pass this legislation. On the way back from the joint session dealing with the electoral vote count, he walked up and grabbed me--did not grab me, but we talked for several minutes walking back to the Senate--the majority leader from the House of Representatives. He worked extremely hard on this. He worked hard on it. I indicated to him that I had received calls from people in New York who appreciated very much his efforts to try to get this thing passed. I really do believe it is important that I have the record reflect the reason we have gotten as far as we have on Sandy is because of the senior Senator from New York. It is too bad that it has taken so long. When we had that devastation from Katrina , we were there within days taking care of Mississippi, Alabama, and especially Louisiana--within days. We are now past 2 months with the people of New York and New Jersey. The people of New Orleans and that area, they were hurt but nothing in comparison to what happened to the people in New York and New Jersey. Almost 1 million people have lost their homes; 1 million people lost their homes. That is homes, that is not people in those homes. So I think it is just unfortunate that we do not have the relief for New York and New Jersey and the rest already. It has to be done. We have to meet the needs of the American people when an act of God occurs.