The fiscal cliff may have been avoided, but for those waiting on relief from Congress for damages caused by Hurricane Sandy, the New Year's Day congressional session offered nothing but disappointment.
While the House of Representatives finally agreed to a last-minute compromise that cancelled out the tax hikes the majority of taxpayers would have faced for the new year, it failed to take action on a bill that would have provided aid to those who suffered damages from the historic Oct. 29 storm.
The Hartford Courant reports that three of the state's congressional representatives — Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3, Joseph Courtney, D-2, and Jim Himes, D-4, took to the House floor Wednesday morning to condemn its inaction.
The reaction after the hurricane by first responders, caregivers and local officials was stellar, Courtney said, according to the report in The Courant.
"The only place that hasn’t acted is the House of Representatives, which last night, in the dark of the night, the speaker announced that he was abandoning the people of Northeastern America and allowing the Hurricane Sandy relief bill to die,” Courtney said.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who with Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had urged Congress to act swiftly on the bill, said Wednesday that he had spoken to House Speaker John Boehner and was assured the bill would be brought up sometime this month, according to WCBS Newsradio 880.
“Your decision to postpone consideration of a disaster supplemental until after the 113th Congress commences likely delays delivery of relief for months, and therefore delays the process of rebuilding from Sandy,” Gov. Malloy wrote to Boehner Wednesday.
“It sends a terrible message to the citizens of the affected states that the leadership of the House of Representatives feels no sense of urgency, with winter upon us, to aid fellow citizens in their great time of need as the Congress has done time and again when other natural disasters have devastated communities elsewhere in the country.”