Congressman Crowley Speaks Out Against House Republicans’ Refusal to Bring Relief for Hurricane Sandy Up for Vote

January 2, 2013
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), spoke on the House floor in opposition to House Republican leadership’s decision to not bring the Senate-passed Hurricane Sandy relief bill. Crowley’s remarks as prepared are below.

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"Last night, the Republican leadership reneged on their commitment to vote on aid for the families and states that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. We were told it’s because Republicans just couldn’t ‘stomach’ voting on any additional legislation this Congress.

“I wonder if they walked along the beaches of Breezy Point, Staten Island or Seaside Heights if they could ‘stomach’ the devastation. ‘Stomach’ the lives lost, homes destroyed or families still displaced. ‘Stomach’ the businesses that are closed, and, in many places, have been lost.

“In the weeks after the storm, Republicans told us they were with us, that they supported us.

“But, I guess those were only words because last night we learned the truth. And thanks to their actions there’s no federal assistance to help hard-working people rebuild, restart.

“I am not a cynic, but I do wonder what if we told Republicans that a few millionaires and billionaires’ lives were destroyed by the storm whether they’d then want to help ALL of the families hurting because of Sandy.

“And, I wonder what if Republicans were promised that by providing aide to the families in need that, in turn, they’d get a tax break.

“Would these incentives have changed their mind? Would it have prompted action? Because it truly does appear their only priority is helping those who have the most.

“The Republican Leadership in Congress brought this House to a new low last night.

“The banner over the Speaker’s chair says ‘In God We Trust’. God alone cannot help these families rebuild, but unfortunately the American people cannot trust in the Republican Congressional leadership to help.

“The only thing the Republican leadership did this week was serve up false hope. False promises – false guarantees – that we would be there to help, and help quickly.

“Many of you know that my cousin, John Moran, was killed on September 11th, 2001. He came from the Rockaway community. There was a monument on the beach, 118th Street. There were, I would say, dozens of monuments along the Rockaway Peninsula. They were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

“That didn’t stop my family and his neighbors from going out and sifting through the feet of sand to find that memorial. It was that precious to them. They didn’t wait for the federal government to come help pull them up by their bootstraps. They did it themselves. They continue to do it.

“These are humble people, proud people throughout this entire region who have been affected by this storm. They will recover but, sad to say, no thanks to the 112th Congress.”