Pell Center

The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina is a multidisciplinary research center focused at the intersection of politics, policies and ideas.

Setting Sandy Victims Aside: Boehner Pushes Aid Package Off the Table (Op-Ed)

Here are some statistics from “Hurricane Sandy By the Numbers: A Superstorm’s Statistics, One Month Later,” a Time article published November 26, 2012:

8,100,000: Number of homes that lost power. The outages affected people in 17 states, as far west as Michigan.

820: Sandy’s size in miles, as measured by diameter of tropical storm-force sustained wind, as it made landfall just south of Atlantic City, New Jersey—more than double the landfall size of Hurricanes Issac and Irene combined.

10,000: Estimated number of phone calls received by True Value Hardware in Hackensack, New Jersey from people hoping to buy generators in the days before Sandy hit, according to assistant manager Jeff Moskel. The store easily sold out of its stock of 20, as well as all of its batteries, flashlights and extensions cords. Customers are now stocking up on sheet rock, nails, paint and other tools for demolition and repair.

Recent statistics from an article in The New York Times January 3, 2013 report an estimated $82 billion would be needed to repair the damage from Hurricane Sandy.

So why on Earth did House Speaker John Boehner decide to put a $60 billion relief package on hold?

The fact is that the people affected by Hurricane Sandy didn’t disappear when the news coverage dwindled. Some New York and New Jersey residents are still struggling to without their homes and without their businesses. They still need help to get through their personal storms of frustration and loss in order to rebuild not only their homes, but their faith.

For whatever reason, Boehner was willing to put aside Americans citizens in need until he was shamed by House representatives, including some members from his own party, to readdress the aid package in mid-January.  Governor Chris Christie openly called Boehner’s decision “disappointing and disgusting.”

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