hurricane-sandy
Brian Birke

I was a bit pessimistic yesterday when considering what action the House was likely to take on Sandy aid. While it was obvious that members of the House Republican caucus would throw up roadblocks to the full funding proposal, I didn’t expect that those roadblocks would actually be overcome. But, thanks to the new House majority of every-Democrat-and-a-few-rational-Republicans, they were.

From the Times:

The $50.7 billion — along with a nearly $10 billion aid package that Congress approved earlier this month — seeks to provide for the huge needs that have arisen in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and other states since the hurricane struck in late October.

The emergency aid measure would help homeowners whose homes have been damaged or destroyed, provide assistance to business owners who experienced losses as well as reinforce shorelines, repair subway and commuter rail systems, fix bridges and tunnels, and reimburse local governments for emergency expenditures.

Though the package does not cover the entire $82 billion in damage identified by the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, leaders from the storm-ravaged region expressed relief over the action in the Republican-controlled House, where storm aid had become ensnared in the larger debate over spending and deficits.

The most heartening thing about the vote, however, was that it showed how the nation was willing to come together to demonstrate support for states torn apart by disaster. To wit:

Or, in map format, as presented by the New York Times:

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If it’s red and striped, it was a Republican representative voting “no.” Notice that stretch of states running up the middle of the country. A lot of them are home to farmers who will enjoy the USDA’s $16 billion farm insurance payout.

The good folks at Wonkette put it best. “Gracious House Of Representatives To NJ, CT And NY: Fine, Here’s Your Stupid Hurricane Money”. As a resident of New York, I echo that sentiment. Thanks, everyone. So very sorry to be such a nuisance.

And don’t blame us when it happens again and we need tens of billions more to recover from another climate-change-fueled storm. You’re the ones that didn’t want to invest in preventative measures.