GOP Aide Asks: ‘Why Don’t We Wait A Few Months’ To Deliver Sandy Disaster Relief?

There’s another showdown between the White House and Congress — this one over disaster relief funds for communities hit by Superstorm Sandy.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has unveiled a new $60.4 billion bill that would help pay for recovery efforts after Sandy. The funding request is part of an existing military and veterans affairs bill, thus allowing the House and Senate to consider the bill at the same time. However, Republicans in both chambers say the President and Democrats have not provided enough evidence that the full $60 billion is needed.

“Can I verbalize that stinky look on my face?” asked Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) earlier this week, as he talked about the bill.

One House aide suggested that Congress “wait a few months” before deploying the emergency funds. From The Hill:

“It wasn’t an official bill request … it didn’t have the justifying documents,” a House aide said. “They said they did not have time to complete the justification … why don’t we wait a few months so they can do that?”

GOP aides are researching whether specific requests for billions in aid across a variety of agencies are needed. Their work could take into next week.

Democrats said the GOP complaints were without merit.

Matt Dennis, a spokesman for incoming House Appropriations ranking member Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) said that the request is “entirely typical of justifications associated with emergency requests, which by definition cannot wait a few months.”

“Homeowners, families, and small businesses cannot wait a few months for Congress to respond to severe need created by Sandy,” he said. “They need help now.”

The biggest pieces of the Sandy relief bill feature $17 billion for housing development and $11 billion for transportation fixes. It also includes nearly $10 billion for the National Flood Insurance Program. The $60.4 billion is $20 billion less than what governors were asking.

One of the big hangups is how to pay for the relief. Many Republicans are threatening to block disaster funds unless they are offset elsewhere in the budget.

Another important factor — one that is not getting much play in the current showdown over recovery spending — is whether funds would be used for climate resiliency. The Sandy recovery bill does allude to climate change, but only loosely: “In carrying out activities funded by this title that involve repairing, rebuilding, or restoring infrastructure and restoring land, project sponsors shall consider, where appropriate, the increased risks and vulnerabilities associated with future extreme weather events, sea level rise and coastal flooding.”

21 Responses to GOP Aide Asks: ‘Why Don’t We Wait A Few Months’ To Deliver Sandy Disaster Relief?

  1. Leif says:

    “One of the big hangups is how to pay for the relief. Many Republicans are threatening to block disaster funds unless they are offset elsewhere in the budget.”

    Easy, pass a carbon tax and have the fossil Barons cover the bill. They will still have a few billion left over from last years profits alone to not end up in the food lines with the rest of us. Stop profits from the pollution of the commons.

  2. Nell says:

    These guys are saying “let them eat cake”… and we all know what happened to the last one who said that.

  3. Esop says:

    That is an excellent point. These folks (and the vocal disinformers) are playing fire. The numerous extreme weather events, topped off by Sandy has caused many to start asking questions and putting two and two together. When Sandy II hits, there will be some rather irritated folks. When Sandy III hits, I’m afraid that a medieval pitchfork and torch crowd will appear jolly in comparison.

  4. Jolene Clark says:

    You know they say you can’t fix stupid. You can’t fix a cold heart either. People either have compassion or they do not.

  5. Alteredstory says:

    How about we offset it with an end to fossil fuel subsidies, and a huge increase in fines for when they break laws (which they will do again)?

    Sounds good to me. The only obstacle would be if there was some sort of legalized bribery scheme to make sure that legislators will do what the fossil fuel lobby tells them to.

    Oh. Wait.


  6. James Starks says:

    Sorry, “his or her paycheck”

  7. M Tucker says:

    Yes, the “let ‘em die” Republicans are diabolical and despicable. They do not give two shits about the average American. Human suffering only brings out their blood lust. They relish the opportunity to cause further anguish and pain. As a political philosophy the conservatives are absolutely beyond the pale.

  8. Sharon says:

    Yet one more reason to vote every single Republican out of office.

    Vile, hard hearted, mean, unfeeling scum is what they are. No sense of right nor wrong nor empathy for human suffering- a bunch of sociopaths.

    If they weren’t, the pictures alone would get them moving on this. Bastards.

  9. Kyle Davis says:

    How about we hold back you pay for as long as you want to hold back payment for those hit by Sandy?

  10. Joe Farley says:

    Why don’t they explain to Chris Christie why he won’t be getting federal aid or less than expected. He’s the one they want for 2016 and they’re screwing with him? These d!ckheads need to realize that they’re not screwing President Obama. They’re screwing people whose lives have been destroyed while they’re in their cushy houses. They tried holding disaster aid hostage for spending cuts before. Stop being little children and do what you’re supposed to. Play games on your own time and dime. This from the party unwilling to raise taxes on the 2%. When will people realize their true agenda and call them on it?

  11. Chris Winter says:

    “It wasn’t an official bill request … it didn’t have the justifying documents,” a House aide said.

    Any bets on whether, if it did have the justifying documents, some of those GOP stars would complain because it was too long?

  12. Merrelyn Emery says:

    This is just a preview. Forget the meanness for the moment and consider that it won’t be long before many small countries and NGOs will be overwhelmed by the costs. Eventually even rich countries like the USA will have to cut their losses, ME

  13. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    GOP to Sandy victims “Suffer suckers”

  14. M.Stone says:

    What is sad is this is the party that supposedly is backing Gods laws..When will the real Christians see these people are using them..for their votes and nothing more..It is said that money is the root of all evil, these people will throw a vote out there against abortion and in the next sentence speak of taking away unions, eliminate the minimum wage, not help create reasonable health insurance…all of which lowers the little mans standard of living and yes will actually bring death to many!! Death is death either way you cut it, and to these people it is all about their bottom line..the elites, and they have so many convinced they will be apart of that elitism if they are voted for..They wont even help those hurting in a time of need and disaster!! Just sickening! I hope more Christians wake up and actually follow what the bible says..Money is the root of all evil. If you truly want to vote biblical then the GOP is not the way to do it..God had compassion for the less fortunate..were the farmers told to leave each corner of their feilds unharvested so as the poor could have something to eat?Yes..I know most dont want to hear this, but christians need to hear this..they need to open their eyes and see just exactly what they are voting for. It is not compassion, or loving thy neighbor that is for sure..If they loved their neighbor they wouldnt hesitate to send aid to those neighbors who were in Sandys path.!And to those of other faiths, peace be with you and carry on..I come from the bible belt and this just sickens me!If you think you vote so you wont have blood on your hands..think of all those waiting for medical treatment and dying from lack of it..we all have blood on our hands.It will be worse for those who needlessly let others suffer for their pocket books.

  15. patience says:

    Why not shove more pain and depravity down the throats of people who are already hurting, don’t have a place to live, and have lost everything. Incase you can’t understand that was sarcasm…. But seriously why hurt the ones that are already hurting.

  16. mulp says:

    Why aren’t any of you calling for tax hikes and getting rid of as many Republicans for not hiking taxes to get the majority of Republicans voting for tax hikes for infrastructure.

    Doubling the gas tax is an immediate fix to increase funding for a lot of the projects, until a more sane set of transportation revenue raising is developed along with a carbon tax or cap and tax.

  17. rlanden says:

    See comment 3 by Jolene. She nailed it, I’m sorry to say.

  18. NATALIE HUNT says:

    bastards…..why the hell does anyone vote for republicans..lets find out what businesses they own or have stock in AND LETS ALL BOYCOTT EACH AND EVERYONE

  19. Susan Darling says:

    Let’s see….while they are waiting for what they think they need to appropriate some funds to help with rebuilding and relief after Sandy, why not send them on a vacation……to live in the middle of the areas hardest hit!!!!

  20. Patrick PIne says:

    How about we call Hurricane Sandy a “weapon of mass destruction” and the GOP can then provide a trillion dollars – that was enough “justification” for them not long ago…

  21. Joan Savage says:

    Instead of being politic-picky, we could look at Hurricane Sandy as the shape of things to come for all of us – disasters so large that doing a careful single-price cost-estimate takes too long.

    This was actually the case already for Hurricane Katrina when estimators inefficiently moved slowly from house to house in minivans, covering only a few sites a day.

    We need a new accounting system for disasters that can be both prompt in response and responsible about distribution of what may become increasingly limited government resources.

    We need a more coherent sequenced or tiered response for funding distribution.