A ray of hope from the dysfunctional – though the U.S. House of Representatives has been dragging its feet over the last few months in making any decisions on Hurricane Sandy relief appropriations, there is a vote pending in the House next Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013 regarding several extensive appropriation measures for long-term relief and rebuilding efforts.
Some the strongest appeals to Congress, especially to the House, to pass an appropriations package have come from New York and New Jersey – two of the hardest hit states.
Earlier this month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie sent several joint appeals (more like scathing criticism) to the House, among them saying that the “continued inaction and indifference by the House of Representatives [was] inexcusable” and that “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.”
As for the upcoming vote next week, the governors sent a joint letter to the House saying they are “trusting Congress to act accordingly on January 15th and pass the final $51 billion instrument for long-term rebuilding.”
Cataloging the damage caused by the hurricane across multiple states, Cuomo said:
Twenty-four U.S. states were in some way affected by Sandy. The storm killed at least 131 people in eight states, including at least 60 in New York, at least 35 in New Jersey, and dozens in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Connecticut, Virginia, and North Carolina combined.
Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed in our region, leading to billions in economic disruptions and losses.
Cuomo also rallied at the House that, “Every time there has been a storm or disaster even close to the size and scope of Sandy regardless of the region of the country, the House has approved billions of dollars in supplemental aid – $290 billion in total since 1989 as part of 35 separate supplemental appropriations bills. North, South, East, West, the House has always acted and acted quickly. Expect now.”