Mr. SIRES. Madam Speaker, it has been nearly 8 weeks since Superstorm Sandy struck our shores and devastated an entire region. It has been 8 weeks, and Congress has yet to send a disaster assistance package to the affected States.
It is precedent for this body to stand together in the aftermath of a natural disaster and to immediately provide the necessary assistance in order 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.
Why can't this Congress come together and approve the $60 billion requested by the President to help the 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.
It is my hope that this Chamber can set aside its differences and swiftly approve the supplemental funding. Such assistance will aid those who have lost everything in the storm, and it will help to rebuild our communities stronger than ever. New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut have always stood by other regions of this Nation that have been faced with difficult circumstances. I trust that my colleagues in Congress will now come to our aid.