Congress approves $9.7 billion Superstorm Sandy aid package

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WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives passes a nine-point-seven billion dollars aid package for the victims of Superstorm Sandy.  And the Senate signed off without debate a couple of hours later.

Even though the bill passed by a vote of 354 to 67, it wasn’t without political posturing.

New Jersey Democrat Bill Pascrell, Jr. tried a little sarcasm. “This is a total, total disaster in helping those people that we are pompously saying today and pontificating about we’re helping them.  Isn’t that wonderful?  What’s our jobs?  We’re not doing anybody any favors. That’s why we were sent here.  Try it once in a while, democracy!”

New York Democratic Nydia Valazquez weighed in with a little shame. ‘It is indefensible that as Americans continue to suffer from Sandy’s impact, the House Majority could not get their act together to bring the entire aid senate-passed package to a vote. Talk about fiddling while New York City burns.’

And New York Republican Peter King sounded a lot like the late Rodney King. ‘It is important that we act. It is important we put past recriminations behind us. Let’s all stand together as one, all as Americans – Democrats and Republicans.’

The Sandy aid debate ain’t even close to be over. It comes up again on January 15 when both houses consider additional aid, and then in the months to come as lawmakers try to find ways to spend money Uncle Sam doesn’t have.