U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), one of the main co-authors of
the bipartisan Sandy emergency disaster relief bill that was approved in the Senate,
today blasted House Republicans for failing to pass a bill in response to Sandy and
denying critical aid to families, communities, and businesses that were devastated
by one of the worst storms to ever hit the United States.
"Denying emergency aid to Superstorm Sandy victims is a new low for House
Republicans," Lautenberg said. "When our neighbors in other states are knocked down
by emergency events, we put partisan politics aside and extend a helping hand to
help them get back up. Helping struggling families recover from disasters has never
been a partisan issue in Washington and it never should be. New Jersey and New York
families have been hurt badly by Sandy and it is shameful that Washington
Republicans are adding to their pain by standing in the way of their recovery."
Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), called the failure to pass the relief package "a disaster on top of a disaster," saying , "this is not about people in Congress, this is about constituents whose lives are ruined."
President Barack Obama said in a written statement that many people in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are trying to recover from the storm and need ``immediate support with the bulk of winter still in front of us.'' The Senate approved a $60.4 billion measure Friday to help with recovery from the storm. The House Appropriations Committee has drafted a smaller, $27 billion measure, and a vote had been expected before Congress' term ends Thursday at noon. House Speaker John Boehner pulled the bill on Tuesday.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie released a joint statement with New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo Wednesday, calling the House of Representative's failure to act "inexcusable."
"With all that New York and New Jersey and our millions of residents and small businesses have suffered and endured, this continued inaction and indifference by the House of Representatives is inexcusable. It has now been 66 days since Hurricane Sandy hit and 27 days since President
Obama put forth a responsible aid proposal that passed with a bipartisan vote in the Senate while the House has failed to even bring it to the floor. 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. When American citizens are in need we come to their aid. That tradition was abandoned in the House last night."
"The people of our states can no long afford to wait while politicians in Washington play games."