Hurricane Sandy relief efforts continued over the holidays with volunteers dropping off meals on Christmas eve and confidential documents being returned from the wreckage to their rightful owners. But good will can only go so far and victims in the north east are still waiting for federal aid to trickle in.
Almost two full months after the end of the storm, the Senate has finally approved a plan that will give states $60.4 billion in emergency aid. But House Republicans are already organizing against the legislation, says The New York Times.
New York Senator Charles E. Schumer, said, "For the House to go home without taking up this bill would be unconscionable."
House Republicans say that they're worried for all the typical reasons: there was not "enough time for hearings and debate," it puts pressure on the "already-strained Treasury," and that there's not going to be a way to pay for it. But the thing about this stimulus package that sets it apart from normal ones is that it's emergency money. This aid is needed for stuff like making necessary repairs to bridges and providing cash to damaged small businesses to get them going again.
Even the most casual viewer of the fiscal cliff debates knows that House Republicans look totally uncooperative and partisan right now. Not only would passing this bill help out a lot of people, it would be a great way for Republicans to attempt to show the American people that they're not impossible to work with, they can get stuff done, and they actually care about their constituants.
If they choose to just let this bill expire, they're going to look more ineffective than ever before.
[Image via AP]