Mr. ROTHMAN of New Jersey. I thank my distinguished chairman and the ranking member for this conversation.
Madam Speaker, Congress has found the money over the years for disaster relief for all other parts of the country time and time again, whether it was forest fires in the West, droughts in the Southwest, flooding in the Midwest, tornados in the South. Now the Republican majority in the House of Representatives says that when the Northeast suffers devastating flooding as a result of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, you won't get enough to cover all of your damages and we're going to have to cut other investments in programs that create manufacturing jobs in America. That's simply outrageous.
I saw firsthand the devastation that occurred in my district in northeastern New Jersey. Thousands of my constituents lost their possessions, were forced to evacuate from their homes or were without power for days, and critical infrastructure was damaged. Recovery efforts are beyond the means of the State and local governments. Our neighbors, our local communities, our local businesses need Federal help to rebuild and they need it now in full, just like every other part of the country in all the years past.
This is not a partisan matter in the Northeast. My Republican Governor, Governor Chris Christie from New Jersey, said our people are suffering now and they need Federal support now, and he was right.
It is time to meet the disaster needs of American citizens in New Jersey, in northeastern United States of America, to do so now and in full. And the Republican majority should get rid of the bill it has now--which I'm going to vote against--and give full relief to the American people from New Jersey. We've been paying the tab for others for a long time. We need the help now.