Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan joined 66 other House Republicans to vote against a $9.7 billion Hurricane Sandy relief bill to fund insurance claims through the national flood insurance program. The bill passed the House of Representatives on Friday 354-67. Every Democrat in the chamber voted for it.
The vote came after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, loudly complained that Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans were ignoring the devastated East Coast in the wake of the massive storm. He said that the blame was squarely with House Republicans. Unlike with Sandy, it took only ten days after Hurricane Katrina for a $60 billion bill to be passed. Hurricane Sandy struck over two months ago now as people continue to wait for Washington to act.
New Jersey and New York have both requested $60 billion to fund both a national flood insurance program and reconstruction efforts. The flood insurance bill was broken off from the reconstruction funds at the insistence of conservatives in the House. The reconstruction bill is expected to come up for a vote in mid-January but could face much stronger opposition from Republicans than the cheaper flood insurance bill.
I wonder if the members who voted against the Hurricane Sandy relief package would have cast the same vote if the storm had hit their communities? It’s seriously doubtful. Shame on these members for their callous, selfish and petty games with people’s lives.