To the Editor:
If so many Americans weren’t still suffering without heat and electricity after Hurricane Sandy, this letter would not be necessary. Unfortunately, despite promises from our president and many in Congress, many of our fellow citizens are still suffering. The extreme cold we have experienced over the past week compels me to shed some light on their continued suffering.
Just a reminder, Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast in late October devastating New York and New Jersey. The president, as well as many other politicians, was condemned for using it as a “photo op” in the closing days of the election. Photo op or not, he was there and I distinctly recall that he promised the people that he was with them and would do everything in his power to cut through the “red tape.”
So I have to ask why is it that over three months since Hurricane Sandy, so many of our fellow Americans on Staten Island are still without heat and electricity?
Almost three weeks ago there was a tremendous “hue and cry in the media decrying the fact that the House had failed to pass an ‘aid package,’” the House arguing that it was filled with “wasteful spending.” To their credit, the House passed a relief bill over two weeks ago despite many members still having reservations over the inclusion of “pork” in the bill.
So I have to ask Senators Reed and Whitehouse why the Senate still has not taken up the matter? Where is the “leadership” of the Senate?
In my opinion, political posturing while Americans are suffering in this cold is unconscionable. Perhaps our two senators would do well to return to Washington by car and make a stop on Staten Island to see for themselves what is happening. After all Senator Reed, it’s much closer than making another useless “fact finding” trip to Afghanistan.
This fiasco brings to mind the two biggest lies in the world: “The check is in the mail” and “We’re from the government, and we’re here to help!”
I urge my fellow citizens to call Senators Reed and Whitehouse and urge passage of the Senate’s version of a Hurricane Sandy relief bill. After all, it might have been Rhode Island and not Staten Island that bore the brunt of Sandy.
CDR USN (Ret)
West Warwick Democratic Town Committee