Today, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) voted for a $9.7 billion bill to replenish the National Flood Insurance Fund in order to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy, while calling on House Republicans to act without further delay to deliver all of the aid needed for victims of the storm in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
"Disaster relief used to be a bipartisan effort, but today the House Majority inexplicably denied full aid to thousands of Sandy victims in New York," said Slaughter. "Today's partial solution is not enough- we must vote again as soon as possible to provide additional aid to our neighbors still suffering from Sandy."
On December 28, 2012, the Senate passed a $60.4 billion Sandy Disaster Relief Package by a bipartisan vote of 62 to 32, with 12 Senate Republicans voting in favor -- a package very close to the amount requested by the Obama Administration. Following the vote to avert the fiscal cliff on New Year's Day, however, Speaker Boehner abruptly cancelled the vote on the Senate-passed aid package. The widespread bipartisan outrage following the vote's cancellation forced the House Majority to consider a portion of the aid package.
Despite repeated and consistent pleas from the congressional delegations from all three affected states as well as the governors of New Jersey and New York for the full amount of funding, the House Majority's proposal only contains $9.7 billion -- just enough funding to replenish the National Flood Insurance Fund. 67 House Republicans voted against sending any disaster relief at all to the hurricane victims.
While Speaker Boehner has promised a vote on the rest of the $50 billion in aid on January 15, the Speaker's sudden cancellation of the vote on New Year's Day signaled that the process may again be derailed, and Congresswoman Slaughter remained skeptical that the House Majority would follow through on their pledge.
"If there has been a unifying theme to this House Majority, it is to do as little as possible with as little time left on the clock as possible," Slaughter said. "I sincerely hope that the Speaker follows through on his promise to bring the rest of this crucial aid to the floor -- there are thousands of families across New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut who are hanging in the balance and who need and deserve our support."