In a disgusting move, Mayor Bloomberg has sought to support the Republican majority in the US House for its decision to block emergency relief for victims of Sandy.
Sandy Relief Blocked
Last Tuesday night, as the fiscal cliff vote neared, the US House took the $60 billion Sandy relief bill off the list of bills to get a vote before the end of the 112th Congress. The package had already received the support of the Senate and was assured of a Presidential signature. But, because the 112th Congress didn't pass the bill, it must start over in the 113th, which will, at a minimum, cause major delays. Beyond the delays, the Republicans seem to be planning to significantly reduce size of the package. They belatedly approved less than one-sixth of the amount requested and approved by the Senate and by the relevant House committees.
While aid after Katrina was just two weeks after the tragedy began, Sandy victims are still waiting for aid more than two months after this latest natural disaster.
Bloomberg Criticizes Sandy Aid Package
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who previously declined to slam House Speaker John Boehner over Congress’ stalled Hurricane Sandy aid, took his argument to the next level this morning and suggested federal lawmakers are partially to blame for the delay in the vote on the package because they insert “things that are totally extraneous” into bills such as this. Although Mr. Bloomberg didn’t specify the extraneous problem items, the legislation has been criticized by Republicans like Rep. Paul Ryan for being “packed with funding for unrelated items, such as commercial fisheries in American Samoa and roof repair of museums in Washington, D.C.”
“There’s this ‘Christmas Tree effect’ where legislators put in their favorite bills and tack them onto something. The [Obama] administration does that, that’s why you have an omnibus bill–to force everybody to vote for things that would never stand up in the light of day if they were individual,” Mr. Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show with John Gambling. “I’m sympathetic. Yelling and screaming at [Mr. Boehner] is just not my style. It may be effective, it may not be. Everybody’s got to make their own decisions. I think the legislative leaders who criticize and those in the Legislature should stop and think, they do exactly the same thing in terms of ladling on things that are totally extraneous but it’s the only way they get them through.”
Mr. Bloomberg’s relatively subdued stance places him at odds with the overwhelming majority of the politicians in the New York region in recent days, with one exception in the form of Councilman Dan Halloran. But while name-checking several politicians, including Governors Andrew Cuomo and Christie Christie, as well as Congressman Pete King, who “worked hard” on the bill but have subsequently vented loudly at Mr. Boehner, Mr. Bloomberg reiterated that it’s simply not his “style.”
Bloomberg Opposed Obama Visit After Sandy
Perhaps we should not be surprised that Mayor Bloomberg is not eager to see the Sandy relief make its way to NYC. He was the only leader in the areas affected by Sandy to state that he did not want the President to visit and survey the damage.