Anyone who has ever lived through a natural disaster, be it a hurricane, a tornado, flood or fire, knows all too well the lingering turmoil that affects the lives of everyone involved. The period of “rebuilding” refers not only to the rebuilding of roads, homes and other structures but to the rebuilding of the lives of every man, woman, child and family that the disaster touched. In times of need, communities depend on their local governments to keep the peace and assist in efforts to return to normal.
Yesterday, Congress did not vote on a $60 billion Superstorm Sandy Disaster Aid Bill that could have made a tremendous difference in the lives of everyone impacted by the largest Atlantic hurricane in history. The decision made by House Speaker John Boehner to cancel the vote sparked outrage across the nation with his biggest and most outspoken critic being fellow Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Boehner surprised many by cancelling a vote on the aid bill, which was already approved by the Senate.
"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." NJ Gov. Chris Christie and NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a joint statement
When a new Congress begins on Thursday, both chambers will begin with clean slates as far as pending legislation is concerned so the Senate’s passage of the previous bill will be moot. No aid will reach the citizens of the storm-ravaged area where it is so desperately needed. Yet, the House convened at 12:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon without voting. They must have had something more important to do. Sends quite a message, doesn't it?
It’s been more than sixty days since Sandy made landfall near Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Monday, October 29, 2012. There are still far too many people who are worried about food, shelter, clothing and jobs. They want answers and they should be proud that their Governors are coming to their defense.
I wonder how John Boehner can sleep at night while so many memories, hopes and dreams, swept away from so many of his fellow citizens, remain in limbo at his behest.
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