Thu January 3, 2013
Cuomo blasts Congress over disaster aid
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is blasting lawmakers on Capital Hill for failing to help victims of Superstorm Sandy.
More than two months after Sandy damaged or destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in New York alone, the state is still waiting for federal disaster aid.
The U.S. Senate approved a $60 billion package Friday, but despite his assurances of a vote House Speaker John Boehner pulled the bill Tuesday.
Cuomo calls it a dereliction of duty.
"I believe that government matters, and the functioning of government matters. And to leave New York and New Jersey and thousands of people in this holiday season on their own and abandoned was wrong and disgraceful," Cuomo said
The governor points out withholding disaster relief is unprecedented. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Washington approved funding to the Gulf states in just 10 days.
"To say to a region that was hurt by a natural disaster, and now you have to rebuild yourself and you have to fund the reconstruction, actually adds insult to injury."
Cuomo blames politics within the House's Republican conference and says Boehner's decision is inexcusable on every level.
"I understand there are political dynamics within the conference. I understand the speaker has to be reelected and a new Congress starts. I get all that. But that's their politics. And I don't really care about their politics. I care about the people of this state."
After a private meeting Wednesday with lawmakers from states affected by Sandy, Congressman Peter King, a Long Island Republican, said the House Speaker is now promising votes on disaster aid.