Yesterday’s big news from Washington was that the House of Representatives – despite Eric Cantor’s best efforts – decided to vote on the Senate’s bill to avoid the so-called “Fiscal Cliff.” The measure passed, leading to the first significant tax increase on the wealthy in over 20 years.
But while the House leadership was moving a vote on this bill, they were choosing NOT to vote on another: a bond measure that would speed additional relief to thousands and thousands of people in New York and New Jersey who are suffering as a result of Hurricane Sandy. With Boehner abruptly tabling this bill, which passed the Senate several weeks ago, we will have to wait until the next Congress to secure legislation for Sandy relief. This is unacceptable, as some of Boehner’s colleagues have pointed out since yesterday.
New York Communities for Change documents just how unacceptable this is in a new report released today. The report, titled “Forgotten: How the City has Failed Sandy Victims in the Rockaways,” is the result of extensive surveying in affected neighborhoods and holds a critical lens to Bloomberg’s Rapid Repair program, which has been anything but rapid even when it does provide repairs.
It’s 2013, its below freezing outside, and Sandy victims are still suffering. One particularly salient experience, reported by the NY Daily News, tells the story of Audrey Walker, who needs $35,000 to make her home inhabitable. She has received some money from her insurance company and some money from FEMA, but is still nearly $20,000 short. It’s time for the city to step up.