It was a big deal when Capitol Hill finally got around to passing a $50 billion aid package for New York and New Jersey in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The aid came only after local officials, most prominently Congressman King and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, publicly and bluntly criticized fellow Republicans who seemed reluctant to help out their fellow Americans in the Northeast.
Those who considered the issue resolved were far too optimistic. It turns out that rather than showering the region with federal dollars in order to rebuild homes and make other urgent repairs, Washington prefers the trickle-down approach. The Star-Ledger noted that New Jersey has received only a small portion of promised federal aid—about $800 million, a far cry from the $6 billion the feds said they would deliver.
Rebuilding the region before the next storm hits will require a keener sense of urgency on Washington’s part. Local officials on both sides of the Hudson River ought to raise their voices if they feel they are falling behind because of federal red tape.
The region has some pretty powerful voices in Washington. They need to be heard if delays continue.