Milford Fire Department Capt. Christopher Waiksnoris checks for residents during another evacuation due to high tide in Milford, Conn., Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. Superstorm Sandy made landfall Monday, and caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Democrats and Republicans in Connecticut are criticizing the GOP leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives for failing to take up federal financial help to communities and residents hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.
Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a statement that spending federal money now on public works will help reduce the cost of future storms. Malloy wrote a letter to Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday, asking him to reconsider.
"Your decision to postpone consideration of a disaster supplemental until after the 113th Congress commences likely delays delivery of relief for months, and therefore delays the process of rebuilding from Sandy,” Malloy wrote. “It sends a terrible message to the citizens of the affected states that the leadership of the House of Representatives feels no sense of urgency, with winter upon us, to aid fellow citizens in their great time of need as the Congress has done time and again when other natural disasters have devastated communities elsewhere in the country.”
You can read the full letter here.
Republican State Rep. Brenda Kupchick of Fairfield, which was heavily damaged by the Oct. 29 storm, said she is very disappointed that her constituents must wait for relief.
The Senate approved a $60.4 billion measure Friday to help with recovery from the storm that pounded the Northeast. The House Appropriations Committee has drafted a smaller, $27 billion measure and a vote had been expected before Congress' term ends at noon Thursday.
On Wednesday morning, President Barack Obama urged the House Republicans to act on Sandy aid "without delay for our fellow Americans," according to the Associated Pres..
Local members of Congress are also expressing anger about the lack of financial help.
“The House GOP's decision in the middle of the night to skip a critical vote on Hurricane Sandy relief kills any help for Connecticut, New Jersey and New York this Congress. The Senate acted, and the House should too. It will take months to reset a vote on the floor—months of delay Connecticut can't afford,” U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney said in a statement.
U.S. Senate Richard Blumenthal Tweeted his disappointment.
"Dismayed and outraged by the House leadership's disgraceful petty partisan politics in failing to approve the Senate's bipartisan Sandy aid," Blumenthal wrote. "Funding is absolutely vital, not only for CT families, businesses and communities still struggling to return to normal, but entire Northeast "
U.S. Rep. Jim Himes spoke on the floor about the decision.
Republican Rep. Peter King, of New York, said late Wednesday that Boehner promised a vote on the Sandy aid bill by Jan. 15.