January 9, 2013
No wonder Congress is less popular than Nickelback, lice and root canals. The 112th Do-nothing Congress ended without the vote on Hurricane Sandy relief that Speaker Boehner had promised Governors Cuomo of New York and Christie of New Jersey.
After being criticized by numerous members of his own party, the speaker was successful in bringing to vote a small aid package to the states in the newly inaugurated 113th Congress. However, the Speaker was unsuccessful at winning the vote with is caucus in line. In the end 67 Republicans voted against the Speaker, and the plan to give only 15%, or 9.7 billion of the requested 60 billion to the still recovering Mid-Atlantic region.
Republicans have taken relief seekers hostage, denying them aid until members “find the funds” by slashing government aid to other hurting Americans. Republicans have taken hostage the over 40,000 New Yorkers, and New Jerseyans, living without a home; unable to gain the flood insurance money they deserve to start anew. Don’t let the Tea Party Republican Congress hold disaster victims hostage. Tell Congress: Pass Sandy Relief Now.
Even Sean Hannity criticized these Republicans saying on his TV show that “The victims of Hurricane Sandy are being exploiting by greedy, out of touch Washington lawmakers” and for once, we agree.
Of these 67 members, ThinkProgress has discovered that 37 had previously promoted, endorsed, or asked for relief funds for natural disasters in their districts. The worst offender is Rep. Steven Palazzo of Mississippi. Not even a year ago, Palazzo requested funds for disaster relief (and specifically the EXACT same fund that Congress was asked to vote on for Sandy victims) for Hurricane Katrina victims. He said “Tell our national leaders- don’t send more inspectors- we know what’s damaged and how to fix it. Send us money so we can put families back together and do our part to rebuild our community.” So Palazzo is willing to add money to a fund for his own constituents for a storm that occurred six years ago, but is not willing to add money to a fund for New Yorkers for a storm that they still have yet to recover from? Republican Reasoning at its finest. Click here to see the full list of Republicans and their previous positions on disaster relief.
In 2005, Congress acted quickly to aid those hurt and homeless because of Katrina. Now, Congress has acted only in part, now over 70 days after the storm created transportation disasters and rapid homelessness increases throughout the Eastern Coast. Tell Congress that we won’t tolerate their partisan objections to relief money: Pass Sandy Relief (in its entirety) Now.