By Congressman Frank LoBiondo
More than two months after Hurricane Sandy struck South Jersey, the scars of devastation upon our homes, our businesses, our shoreline and our friends and neighbors remain ever so visible and ever so painful.
Each day our region struggles to recover and residents attempt to rebuild their lives as heightened levels of anxiety, frustration, sadness and anger remain. No one in South Jersey has forgotten Sandy, and it is imperative that Washington not be allowed to overlook the real destruction and critical need our communities continue to face.
As widely reported, some of my colleagues have intentionally delayed aid from reaching affected communities, unnecessarily creating a disaster in dealing with this disaster. Citing the Senate-passed “pork” laden bill, they question if federal resources will truly reach those in need.
I appreciate their concerns and have actively sought to alleviate them by working with the congressional delegations of New Jersey and New York, as well as Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., to strip out extraneous provisions. Thus, as originally planned in the final days of 2012, the bill we are introducing in the House of Representatives on Tuesday should provide federal aid only to states affected by the storm.
Likewise, there are some local opinions that stand against any federal assistance in the aftermath of a wide-scale disaster such as Sandy. They argue individual states and impacted municipalities should be solely responsible for recovery and rebuilding efforts, while federal tax dollars should not be used for “local issues”. I strongly disagree with the shortsighted view that New Jersey, which supported other states as they dealt with disasters and which sends more tax dollars to Washington than it receives, should be short-changed at its time of need.
That is not to say federal aid should be unchecked. In 2005 and 2006, more than $100 billion was sent to the Gulf Coast states, including $60 billion within just 10 days of the storm in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.admin | Filed under: Congress, Frank LoBiondo, Hurricane Sandy | Tags: Congressman Frank LoBiondo, Disaster Relief, Frank LoBiondo, Sandy aid, Sandy relief | 1 Comment »