The Republican Party owns this mess and more specifically the House of Representatives Republicans, up to and including Speaker John Boehner. They have had weeks to get a Hurricane Sandy aid package passed, but they sat on it. They’ve had a version to work with for more than three weeks.
The House finally acted today on one portion of the overall $60b request for aid from states affected by Hurricane Sandy. They finally acted to approve the $9.7b portion that re-funds the National Flood Insurance Program.
The people affected by this program are people who actually paid flood insurance premiums into this program for insurance. Republicans ignore that basic fact when they vote to oppose this funding. They have a fiduciary duty to act promptly. They failed miserably on that account, and it was only the righteous indignation of Republicans in New York and New Jersey, along with Governor Chris Christie to get even this meager piece of the reconstruction package to the floor for a vote.
The final vote was 354-67. All 67 opposed were Republicans. Many were from states that are regularly hit with natural disasters. Here’s the list…
In an extraordinary political moment, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called a press conference today and took a wrecking ball to the House Republican majority, and especially Speaker John Boehner, for killing the bill that would have provided $60 billion in emergency funds to victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Even for someone not known for mincing words, Christie’s remarks were unusually pointed and direct; he called the House’s failure to act on the Sandy legislation “a disgrace,” “toxic,” and “disgusting,” and said Speaker Boehner had refused to take four phone calls from him last night.
Christie also made it clear that he thinks the “fiscal cliff” debate was a manufactured fiasco, calling it a “fake” and sarcastically referring to it as an “epic battle.”
Note that Christie is still very much a right winger in every way that counts, so as entertaining as this might be, don’t get too starry-eyed about him. For example, even on issues like global warming, which arguably contributed to the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, Christie toes the anti-science Republican line.
[Live event concluded…]
Gov. Christie is not the only Republican who’s upset about this pathetic failure: Peter King: Halt Donations to House GOP.
New York Republican Rep. Peter King went to war with his Republican colleagues on Wednesday after leaders spiked a Hurricane Sandy relief bill, calling on New Yorkers to stop all donations to GOP House members.
“These Republicans have no problem finding New York when they’re out raising millions of dollars,” King said on Fox News. “They’re in New York all the time filling their pockets with money from New Yorkers. I’m saying right now, anyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny to Congressional Republicans is out of their minds. Because what they did last night was put a knife in the back of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans. It was an absolute disgrace.”