Today, Congressman Sires released the following statement in response to Speaker John Boehner's decision to not bring up the Senate passed Sandy disaster assistance package before the end of the 112th Congress:
"I am severely disappointed that Speaker Boehner has opted to not bring the Sandy disaster assistance package that recently passed the Senate to the House floor for an up or down vote. Failure to bring this bill to the floor by the end of the 112th Congress in its final hours means that we will have to start all over again in the new Congress and draft a new bill. The victims of Sandy have already waited over two months to receive the necessary aid from the government to help them rebuild and recover. This lack of sensitivity to our region and victims of the storm shown by the Republican leadership is unprecedented.
Congress has always come together after natural disasters to immediately provide the necessary assistance to help communities recover and rebuild. Two weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast- Congress approved more than $62 billion in federal aid. One month after Hurricanes Ike and Gustav hit Texas- Congress approved more than $20 billion in aid. It is truly shameful that the House Leadership will not even bring to the floor the Senate approved disaster assistance package requested by the President to help victims of Sandy.
The damage done by Sandy is far beyond the resources and capacity that any single state possesses to recover on its own. The current recovery funding for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut will run out soon, and without this supplemental disaster assistance package residents and businesses that lost everything in the storm will not have the aid to help them recover. I urge Speaker Boehner to reconsider his decision and bring up this critical package to the floor before the 112th Congress comes to a close."