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Public Statements

Hurricane Sandy Relief

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. MEEKS. Mr. Speaker, last night when I came to the floor for the first time since I've been in this body, my heart was hurting. I understand politics, but this should not be about politics. This should be about leadership.

The first thing I want to do is to say to the Speaker, Come walk with me, Mr. Speaker. Come walk with me. Let's walk the beaches of the Rockaway Peninsula. You will see a peninsula where every soul, no matter whether you were rich or whether you were poor, no matter whether you were black or whether you were white, every individual, no matter what your religious belief was, every individual was affected by this storm, everyone.

Come walk with me, Mr. Speaker, as Steny Hoyer did, and talk to the people, look into their eyes, understand their needs. Come walk with me, Mr. Speaker. Maybe then you can have the leadership that is necessary to get this bill passed today. Come walk with me, Mr. Speaker.

If you can't walk with me, Mr. Speaker, for any reason, then go walk with Michael Grimm. If it is a partisan issue for you--because it's not for me--go walk with Michael Grimm on Staten Island, Mr. Speaker. You will see the same pain that the people in the Rockaways have. It's the same pain because they're the same people. They are the American people. This is the United States of America, and this is the people's House.

We make jokes all the time about the Senate. The Senate stood up and passed the bill. This is the people's House, Mr. Speaker. We are supposed to do the right thing for the American people. I'm proud of being on the Foreign Affairs Committee, going all over the world and talking about what we've got to do and how we help folks, how we help other individuals all over this world.

We have Americans, Mr. Speaker, who are crying out for help, who are saying they don't know where their tomorrow is. We have Americans, Mr. Speaker, who are worried to this day right now that we may have another northeaster tomorrow. And with the sand gone and the dunes now down, we'll have another disaster. They're asking me as their Member, Will our government help us? Where are you?

Mr. Speaker, we need leadership. Come walk with me, Mr. Speaker. Come walk with me, and see the American people that are suffering.

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