Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have applauded the Senate's passage of disaster assistance legislation for Hurricane Sandy hit areas, and urge swift finaliztion by the House of Represenatives.
The following statement was released today by the two governors, calling for swift passage by the House of Reps:
“The Senate membership has our respect and gratitude for voting to deliver to the people of our states the resources we need to recover and to move quickly, aggressively, and responsibly with efforts to rebuild and strengthen our states after the historic devastation of Hurricane Sandy. We especially want to thank our states’ senators for their remarkable efforts to see this aid was approved.
“We now urge the House to act swiftly this weekend in recognition of its obligation and responsibility to take action in this instance, just as it always has, for citizens of other states across the country who have endured the devastation of natural disaster.
“It is essential that this assistance not fall victim to partisanship or the ideological divide the nation is witnessing in Washington. We urge the House of Representatives to not delay and to respond to the Senate's action today in kind, by taking prompt action on this aid bill this weekend.”
Additionally, Governors Andrew M. Cuomo, Chris Christie, and Dannel Malloy of Connecticut sent the following letter to every member of Congress on December 28, 2012:
As you come back to Washington, D.C. to act on the remaining business of 2012, we request your help in finalizing the federal aid package for the states that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. President Obama has put forward a comprehensive package that has passed the Senate and, if passed by the House, will provide the critical support hundreds of thousands of small businesses and homeowners in our regions have been waiting for since the storm hit nearly two months ago.
Whenever a crisis or natural disaster has hit any part of the nation, elected representatives from affected regions have always been the most vocal and forceful, urging their colleagues to do their duty and vote to deliver much needed federal support. The congressional delegations of our three states have always been there to provide critical votes for these aid packages, because this is what America is all about – when one of us is in need, we step up to the plate to lend a helping hand.
Every time there has been a storm or disaster even close to the size and scope of Sandy, regardless of the region of the country, the House has approved billions of dollars in supplemental aid -- $290 billion in total since 1989 as part of 35 separate supplemental appropriations bills.
We request the same expedited assistance now. Any delay in passing this aid would be unprecedented in recent history and would signal a shift in federal policy toward disaster assistance.
So the question to each and every member of the House is: If this storm had struck your constituency and devastated it the way Sandy has ours, would you say that the House has done enough? If tens of thousands of your constituent’s homes and business were destroyed, would you stay silent? Would you let months pass without the House taking any action to help?
The Senate has passed this aid package in a bipartisan manner and there is no reason the House shouldn't do the same. With the House reconvening this weekend to help the nation avoid the “fiscal cliff,” remember that disasters affect every region of this nation and that we as a nation stand together in times of crisis.
We urge your support for this aid.
The aid package would include a wide range of recovery and repair efforts, from major highway, roadway, and bridge repair; beach dredging and boardwalk work on Long Island and Staten Island, in Queens, and the Jersey Shore; FEMA home rebuilding across the region; temporary rental reimbursement; insurance outlays; sewer and utility overhauls; municipal sanitation departments; Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) train and subway repair, etc.