President Blasts Congress For Failure To Pass Sandy Relief (Updated)
The last second fiscal cliff deal hasn’t done much to temper emotions on Capitol Hill. House Republican leaderships decision to not vote on the Senate’s bill providing $60 billion in aid to areas impacted by Super Storm Sandy has led to a barrage of floor speeches from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Now President Obama is blasting House leaders. In a statement he writes:
It has only been two months since Hurricane Sandy devastated communities across New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut as well as other eastern states. Our citizens are still trying to put their lives back together. Our states are still trying to rebuild vital infrastructure. And so, last month, working closely with the Governors of the affected states, I sent Congress an urgent request to support their efforts to rebuild and recover. The Senate passed this request with bipartisan support. But the House of Representatives has refused to act, even as there are families and communities who still need our help to rebuild in the months and years ahead, and who also still need immediate support with the bulk of winter still in front of us.
When tragedy strikes, Americans come together to support those in need. I urge Republicans in the House of Representatives to do the same, bring this important request to a vote today, and pass it without delay for our fellow Americans.
If the measure is brought up for a vote, it will almost certainly pass the full body of the House. But some House Republicans have said the bill is too big. They don’t want to support a measure that will increase government spending without an offset somewhere else.
Last month, the House Appropriations Committee drafted a smaller measure, about $27 billion. That is a figure they calculate is more in line with the cost of the recovery over the next year. Supporters of the $60 billion dollar figure say the money needs to be promised up front even if the money will be spent over the course of several years.
Here is some video of floor speeches from NY Reps today, including Republican Rep. Pete King who called the House leaderships decision to pull the vote a “knife in the back.” Also speaking today, Reps Bishop, Meeks, Rangel, Maloney, and another Republican, Rep. Tom Reed.
UPDATE: Governors Cuomo and Christie just put out this statement blasting House leaders as well.
“With all that New York and New Jersey and our millions of residents and small businesses have suffered and endured, this continued inaction and indifference by the House of Representatives is inexcusable. It has now been 66 days since Hurricane Sandy hit and 27 days since President Obama put forth a responsible aid proposal that passed with a bi-partisan vote in the Senate while the House has failed to even bring it to the floor.
This failure to come to the aid of Americans following a severe and devastating natural disaster is unprecedented. The fact that days continue to go by while people suffer, families are out of their homes, and men and women remain jobless and struggling during these harsh winter months is a dereliction of duty. When American citizens are in need we come to their aid. That tradition was abandoned in the House last night.
“The people of our states can no long afford to wait while politicians in Washington play games.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Michael Johnson on January 2, 2013 at 11:50 am, and is filed under 2012, Congress, Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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