Hurricane Sandy Reliefby Representative Joseph Crowley
Posted on 2013-01-02
CROWLEY. Mr. Speaker, last night the Republican leadership
reneged on their commitment to vote on aid for the families in the
States that were devastated by Superstorm Sandy. We were told it was
because Republicans just couldn't stomach any additional votes in this
I wonder if those same people walked along the beaches of Long Beach and Long Island, Breezy Point and Belle Harbor and Rockaway Beach in Greg Meeks's district, Staten Island or Seaside Heights in New Jersey; if they could stomach the devastation they would witness, stomach the lives that were lost, stomach the homes that have been destroyed or the families that have been displaced, stomach the businesses that are closed and, in many places, have been lost.
In the weeks after the storm, my Republican colleagues told us--not all, by the way, and I want to point out that Mr. Grimm and Mr. King, Mr. Dold and others were very, very helpful--but the leadership, I'm talking about, told us they were with us and that they would support us.
But I guess those were only words, because last night we learned the truth. And thanks to their actions, there's no additional Federal assistance to help hardworking people rebuild and restart their lives.
Now, I'm not a cynic, but I do wonder, what if we told the Republicans that a few millionaires' and billionaires' lives were destroyed by the storm, whether they'd want to help all the families hurting because of Sandy? And I wonder, what if Republicans were promised that by providing aid to families in need that, in turn, they would get a tax break? Would these incentives have changed their mind? Would it have prompted action? Because it truly does appear their only priority is helping those that have the most.
Republicans in Congress brought this House to a new low last night.
The banner over the Speaker's chair says ``In God We Trust.'' God alone cannot help these families rebuild but, unfortunately, the American people cannot trust the Republican Congress to help either. The only thing my Republican colleagues did this week was to serve up false hope to the people who have been devastated by the storm, false promises, false guarantees that we'd be there to help them in their time of need.
Many of you know that my cousin, John Moran--I don't speak about John often--was killed on 9/11. He came from the Rockaway community. There was a monument on the beach, 118th Street. There were, I would say, dozens of monuments, as Congressman Meeks knows, along the Rockaway Peninsula. They were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.
It didn't stop my family and his neighbors from going out and sifting through the feet of sand to find that memorial. It was that precious to them. They didn't wait for the Federal Government to come help pull them up by their bootstraps. They did it themselves. They continue to do it.
There are humble people, proud people throughout this entire region who have been affected by this. They will recover but, sad to say, no thanks to the 112th Congress.