The House of Representatives just voted to pass H.R. 152, allocating relief to victims of Sandy, 79 days after the Super Storm hit. The votes were shamefully partisan with 179 Republicans voting to deny the aid bill and all but one House Democrat voting for passage.
Only 49 Republican members saw beyond the political games to join in providing assistance to Americans whose lives are in chaos from the hurricane.
All Representatives from the following states voted to approve the bill: New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Delaware, Vermont, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and West Virginia.
All Representatives from the following states voted against H.R. 152: Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.
The partisanship is sickening in itself. But the No votes from those states carry the extra onus of hypocricy.
- In July, August and September of 2012, Arkansas, Montana, Nebraska, North and South Dakota and Wyoming all received federal assistance after receiving the USDA designation of “natural disaster areas” due to extreme drought.
- Meanwhile, Idaho “ranks fifth in the nation for most earthquakes in any given year,” according to an article in the Idaho Press-Times, and is subject to wildfires and flooding.
- Alaska residents must worry about earthquakes, tsunamis, tundra and forest fires, avalanches, volcanic eruptions, coastal erosion, landslides and melting ice caps – all natural disasters which would require the resources of the federal government for recovery.
- Last year, Texas, which voted heavily against the Sandy aid package, dealt with outbreaks of pertussis, flu, meningitis, and the West Nile virus, and in 2010 was designated the one state with the worst disasters of 2011.
Shame shame shame.
When another disaster hits, these states will rely on the federal government for recovery. They will rely on the generosity and compassion of volunteers from across the nation.
Tonight, the House members of these states and all who voted to deny assistance to victims of Sandy, need to go home and examine their conscience.