Sandy relief betrayal

Photo by Jay Fine

Condemnation was swift for the House Republicans’ heartless abandonment of people devastated by Hurricane Sandy. No one put it better than Representative Peter King of Long Island. He said anybody from New York or New Jersey who donates money to help his fellow Republicans get re-elected is crazy.

We hope Wall Street heard King clearly the first time, and ignores his subsequent backpedal, which was presumably done for political survival.

The “Boehner Betrayal,” as Senator Chuck Schumer calls House Speaker John Boehner’s broken promise to bring a $60 billion hurricane relief package to the floor, will likely have real and devastating consequences in Downtown Manhattan and other areas that were hit even harder by Sandy.

Many businesses close to home have still not reopened and are desperately waiting for relief to rebuild their livelihoods. Others are looking with horror at their repair bills and their loss of customers. In other parts of the city and state and in New Jersey, there  are many without homes — people who can’t even recognize where they lived or worked because the storm just washed it all away.

Boehner’s plan is to take up the bill in piecemeal manner this month with the first vote expected Friday. Boehner may have clinched his leadership re-election by waiting for the new session of Congress, but the delay means the Senate — a body that the Founding Fathers designed to act slowly — must pass a new bill all over again. This during a time when divisive debates continue in Washington on unrelated topics.

It was an outrage that Boehner waited more than two months to consider Sandy relief in order to focus his attention on bad-faith, pointless negotiations with the White House on the “fiscal cliff.”

Our man in Congress, Jerrold Nadler, said extending the hardship was “a total collapse of leadership” on Boehner’s part. He may have been too kind to use the “L” word in the same sentence with the speaker.