Trenton, NJ – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy released the following statement regarding passage today of the disaster relief package by the House of Representatives:
“We are grateful to those members of Congress who today pulled together in a unified, bipartisan coalition to assist millions of their fellow Americans in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut at their greatest time of need. The tradition of Congress being there and providing support for Americans during times of crisis, no matter where they live across this great country, lives on in today’s vote in the House of Representatives. We anticipate smooth passage when this package moves back to the Senate for final approval and for this long-awaited relief to finally make its way to our residents.”
Posted: January 15th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Andrew Cuomo, Chris Christie, Congress, Dannel Malloy, Hurricane Sandy | Tags: Andrew Cuomo, Chris Christe, Conneticut, Dannell Malloy, House of Representatives, New Jersey, New York, Sandy, Sandy relief | 1 Comment »
The House of Representatives approved the first of two bills expected to be voting on today which, if also approved in the U.S. Senate and signed by the Presdient, will provide $50 billion in federal funds to New Jersey, New York and Connecticut to rebuild from the destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy.
The $17 billion approved this afternoon will pay for Sandy clean-up, dredging, small business loans and infrastructure repairs. The $33 billion to be voted on tonight will be for the longer term rebuilding effort.
The bills were split in two to accommodate members of the Republican caucus who support the $17 billion, but not the $33 billion.
According to The Star Ledger, New Jersey Republican Congressmen Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2) and Jon Runyan (NJ-3) ripped into their fellow Republicans for withholding support of the disaster assistance.
“To my colleagues who have sought funding themselves and now say we need to change the rules of the game: shame on you,” Rep. Frank LoBiondo (D-N.J.) said after the vote. “We need to have a new caucus, the hypocritical caucus.”
Rep. Jon Runyan (R-3rd Dist.) said he knew more than 30 of his Republican colleagues who oppose the bill even though they sought similar aid when disaster struck their districts.
“Mr. Speaker — I would say to my friends — why should New Jersey and New York be treated any differently? ” Runyon said. “My friends should ask themselves what would they do if it was their district that suffered the amount of catastrophic loss that many of the families and businesses in my district now face.”
Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone said that Republicans that opposed the aid do not understand the extent of the damage.
Posted: January 15th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Congress, Hurricane Sandy | Tags: Frank LoBiondo, Frank Pallone, House of Representives, Hurricane Sandy, Jon Runyan, Sandy, Sandy relief, Superstorm Sandy | 1 Comment »
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.
Read the rest of this entry »
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 »