It was hard to find an elected official in Washington who didn’t say all the right things about the terrible catastrophe this region suffered during Superstorm Sandy two months ago. Now, however, a sizeable portion of the House of Representatives seems unwilling to turn those fine words of sympathy into action. As a result, the $60 billion aid package for New York and New Jersey is stalled in the House.
Republicans from the Sun Belt, the Midwest and the South apparently are not so keen on helping New York and New Jersey rebuild, even though the regions’ representatives and senators have rarely stood in the way of relief for victims of natural disasters elsewhere. That’s because far too many of them have convinced themselves that New York and New Jersey will fritter away billions.
It’s up to our region’s top public officials—especially Republican Congressman Peter King of Long Island and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey—to remind skeptics that this region needs federal assistance not simply to rebuild, but to rebuild in anticipation of the next superstorm.
Of course, some House Republicans reject the whole idea of changing weather patterns, so that’s a problem. But surely there are some decent, reasonable Republicans who can be persuaded that New York and New Jersey intend to use federal funds wisely, so that the federal government doesn’t have to come to the rescue again.
Mr. King and Mr. Christie need to make the case to their colleagues. What a shame that this sort of arm-twisting seems necessary.