Hurricane Sandy Reliefby Representative Steny H. Hoyer
Posted on 2013-01-01
HOYER asked and was given permission to address the House for 1
Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I have just been informed that we will be
having perhaps no further votes in this Congress. I am deeply
disappointed at that information.
We have millions of our fellow citizens who have been badly damaged by a storm called Sandy. Overwhelmingly, the United States Senate passed some relief. I can't remember a time when we had a very serious storm, tornado, fire, or flood when we did not act. This Congress is apparently leaving town without responding to that emergency.
There's not one of us, not one of us in this Congress that could not be in the same position. I live in a coastal State, but whether you live in the Midwest or the far west, whether you live in the South or the East or the North or the West, you could be and your citizens could be and your neighbors could be confronted by a natural disaster--or for that matter, a man-made disaster--and our fellow citizens would expect us to respond as the United States Senate has responded.
It was my belief, an assurance was given to me--not 100 percent--and the gentleman who gave it to me did not make this decision, but I am deeply disappointed, Mr. Speaker.
The people who have been damaged by Sandy, including Governor Christie, a Republican, and Governor Cuomo, a Democrat, should be deeply disappointed and, yes, angry that this Congress would adjourn without addressing the pain of our fellow citizens.
I've been to New York. I've walked the beaches. I've seen the homes that have been destroyed, with my colleague Greg Meeks. I've talked to Nydia Velazquez. I've talked to other Members of Congress--Congressman Crowley, Congressman Pallone, Congressman Rothman--all of whom have had their citizens deeply damaged by the ravages of the, perhaps, storm of historical proportions that struck the Northeast. None of us is immune, not from a tornado or a flood or a fire.
I deeply regret this. I can't change this opinion, but it's not what we ought to be doing. There are Republicans who are deeply grieved by this [[Page H7561]] action and there are Democrats on this floor deeply grieved by this action. This is not the right thing to do. I would hope it would be reconsidered.
We have asked our Members to stay here, every one of them, knowing full well they wanted to go home just for a day to see their families.
Mr. Speaker, I would hope this decision would be reconsidered. I would hope that we would say to those citizens: We're here for you, one country, one nation.