It will be over two and a half months since Hurricane Sandy slammed into the eastern seaboard, devastating communities and leaving families in economic ruin. It is time for Congress to stop playing political football with our lives and fates. The original $83 billion in aid asked for by the three Governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut was counter-offered with a $60 billion aid package by Washington. Yet Congress never passed that package.
Hurricane Sandy recovery proposals were shunted aside and hashed over repeatedly and needlessly for months. Wrangling and disinformation made a mockery of the social contract of our Constitution, to "provide for the general welfare." Vital aid dollars to repair day care centers and veteran’s hospitals knocked out by the storm were derided and referred to as "pork."
Thus, to date, only $9 billion in FEMA Flood insurance has been passed. That’s just 15% of the $60 billion aid ostensibly offered by Washington, and a mere 11% of the $83 billion original aid asked for by the states.
The remaining $51 billion is now being split into two packages: one for $18 billion, and the other for $33 billion. This sort of "divide and conquer" legislation gives opponents additional chances to try to scuttle the proposals or tie them down with odious conditions, like off-setting cuts elsewhere in spending.