By Art Gallagher, [email protected]
When disaster hits, natural or man made, Americans put aside their differences and come together to handle the emergency.
We saw it with 9-11. Most recently in New Jersey we saw it with Superstorm Sandy.
Once the emergency is over and the federal money is flowing, the politics…partisanship and patronage starts. We saw it with 9-11. We’re living it with Sandy.
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Posted: April 13th, 2014 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, 2014 Elections, 2014 U.S. Senate race, 2016 Presidential Politics, 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Bob Menendez, Chris Christie, Chris Smith, Christie Administration, Congress, Cory Booker, Democrats, Department of Community Affairs, Department of Homland Security, Frank Pallone, George W Bush, Housing, Hurricane Sandy, Jennifer Beck, Jersey Shore, NJ Democrats, NJ State Legislature, RREM, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: Congressman Chris Smith, Congressman Frank Pallone, Disaster Recovery, Disaster Relief, HUD, New Jersey Congressional Delegation, RREM, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senator Jennifer Beck, Shaun Donovan, Superstorm Sandy | Comments Off on The Politics Of Disaster Relief
By Congressman Frank LoBiondo
More than two months after Hurricane Sandy struck South Jersey, the scars of devastation upon our homes, our businesses, our shoreline and our friends and neighbors remain ever so visible and ever so painful.
Each day our region struggles to recover and residents attempt to rebuild their lives as heightened levels of anxiety, frustration, sadness and anger remain. No one in South Jersey has forgotten Sandy, and it is imperative that Washington not be allowed to overlook the real destruction and critical need our communities continue to face.
As widely reported, some of my colleagues have intentionally delayed aid from reaching affected communities, unnecessarily creating a disaster in dealing with this disaster. Citing the Senate-passed “pork” laden bill, they question if federal resources will truly reach those in need.
I appreciate their concerns and have actively sought to alleviate them by working with the congressional delegations of New Jersey and New York, as well as Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., to strip out extraneous provisions. Thus, as originally planned in the final days of 2012, the bill we are introducing in the House of Representatives on Tuesday should provide federal aid only to states affected by the storm.
Likewise, there are some local opinions that stand against any federal assistance in the aftermath of a wide-scale disaster such as Sandy. They argue individual states and impacted municipalities should be solely responsible for recovery and rebuilding efforts, while federal tax dollars should not be used for “local issues”. I strongly disagree with the shortsighted view that New Jersey, which supported other states as they dealt with disasters and which sends more tax dollars to Washington than it receives, should be short-changed at its time of need.
That is not to say federal aid should be unchecked. In 2005 and 2006, more than $100 billion was sent to the Gulf Coast states, including $60 billion within just 10 days of the storm in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
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Posted: January 15th, 2013 | Author: admin | Filed under: Congress, Frank LoBiondo, Hurricane Sandy | Tags: Congressman Frank LoBiondo, Disaster Relief, Frank LoBiondo, Sandy aid, Sandy relief | 1 Comment »
House Minority Leader Eric Cantor has indicated that he wants the government to pay for FEMA disaster relief by cutting spending elsewhere. Governor Chris Christie said that our people are suffering now and that relief should not be subject to political games.
Cantor and Christie are both right.
Republicans who want to stop the run away spending on Washington that is leading us to economic ruin only control one house of Congress. They only have leverage over the Senate and the President in the event of an emergency, like when the debt ceiling must be extended or when disaster relief must be provided.
Those in the liberal media, like the Neptune Nudniks, who are critical of Cantor and the Tea Party Republicans in the House have no interest in reforming Washington’s ways. They are part of the problem.
As a result of the debt ceiling agreement, the Democrats in the Senate and the President have already agreed to trillions in spending cuts to be identified by the end of the year by congressional super commission or huge cuts to the military budget and entitlements will be triggered.
Democrats in the Senate can avoid the “political games” and provide disaster relief by going along with Cantor and identifying cuts sufficient enough to cover the cost of relief now.
Posted: September 2nd, 2011 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Chris Christie, Eric Cantor, FEMA, Hurricane Irene | Tags: Chris Christie, Disaster Relief, Eric Cantor, FEMA, Hurricane Irene | 17 Comments »