Jeana's World of Law

Jeana's World of Law

Friday, December 14, 2012

Northeast Needs Congress to Help Rebuild After Sandy

Following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, several governors and CEOs are asking that Congress pass a $60.4 billion aid package for the hurricane relief.
Although Hurricane Sandy has come and gone, the restorations and rebuilding following the damage are still underway. For this reason, the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut - in addition to over 125 big corporation CEOs based in New York - are urging Congress to pass the aid package for Sandy relief.
The northeastern states still have a lot to do, and don't have the necessary funds. Some projects include taking a tip from San Diego solar projects and securing grid independence for homes and businesses by installing solar panels. In case of another disaster, this would be able to provide residents with some back-up power. This even goes as far as solar powered street lights! 

Govs. Chris Christie (R-NJ), Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) and Dannel Malloy (D-CT) all requested funding from President Barack Obama, and a week ago proposed $60.4 billion for the states affected, which actually is about three-quarters of what they requested. 
The CEOS, including top executives of Time Warner, NBC Universal, Bloomberg, Morgan Stanley, Madison Square Garden and the National Basketball Association, are joining the governors in their plea to urge Congress to act quickly on the aid before lawmakers take their break for the holiday. 

In an opinion piece published in the The Washington Post, the governors state that no region or state should have stand have to alone after a disaster. They say Congress hasn't acted in these seven weeks following Sandy, taking longer to provide aid than in previous disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. 

The governors said their states’ legislators had supported aid after previous disasters. "They did so in the spirit of compassion, recognizing that in times of crisis no region, state or single American should have to stand alone or be left to fend for themselves," they wrote.
The govenors wrote “Storms and disasters lay waste to communities and deliver damage far beyond the resources and capacity of any single state to recover on its own...This is why Congress has always come to the assistance of Americans facing a recovery effort of this scale.”
"Americans come together in times of crisis," they wrote. "Our states have stood with your communities when they suffered and faced devastation. It's time for Congress to stand with us."
The decision on the aid, now that Obama has approved and proposed it, it now in the hands of Congress, which is already in a budget battle to cut spending by January 1, 2013.
Solar panels San Diego iniatives have made the city, as well as state, a leader in using solar power technology to recude dependence to local grids. New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut hope to take a step in the similar direction and rebuild in the most efficient way in order the states are up against an disaster like Hurricane Sandy in the future, but that may not be possible if the aid isn't passed.

Other politicians are speaking up as well. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is pushing the aid request in the Republican House and told The Associated Press in an interview that the high-stakes budget negotiations already under way when Sandy hit made the requests more challenging. 

Natural disasters shouldn't have to pick sides. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), said the aid package should be a bipartisan priority. "Before we leave this year, we must act to provide emergency disaster aid to fund the response to Superstorm Sandy," Schumer said. When it comes down to it, Americans need Congress's help - and all they're asking is for them to pass the bill before they go on their holiday breaks.

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