Wednesday, January 02, 2013

66 Days And Counting

If you have not watched New Jersey Governor Chris Christie lay into the "leadership" of the House of Representatives, here's eight minutes of your time that are worth spending watching YouTube today.

All that was needed was a few "Christie Smash" grunts, a change of his skin to green, and a ripping of his suit.  Christie's one ticked off dude.

Rightfully so for that matter.  It's been 66 days since Sandy came ashore...and compared to Ike, Gustav, or Katrina, the amount of time spent waiting for this aid package to be approved for recovery and relief is disgraceful and embarrassing.  On its own.  Regardless of what party you subscribe to.

What's worse is the pulling of the aid package last night by Speaker of the House John Boehner while the House debated the fiscal cliff legislation, perhaps in response to how the voting went down by some of those in the Republican party.  Boehner has stated today that a vote on the aid package will be made by January 15th.

There are times when politics and political philosophy have to be put aside for the common good.  We've historically done that in times of disaster throughout the country -- various hurricanes and other big storms.  The fact that this aid package has been held up thanks to politics, perhaps pettiness on Boehner's part, is sad and disgusting.  Given that other aid packages have been voted on quickly, typically within two weeks, and aid for Sandy is now trudging along two months later in the House speaks to a general dysfunction in Washington and perhaps (you can judge that) with one party.

Yes, a small percentage of this aid package has pork (six percent of a $60 billion bill).  You know what?   Those who want to find cuts because of the pork faction should find them down the line, AFTER the bill has passed.  Not before. Sometimes doing the right thing comes first, ahead of holding fast to principle and personal beliefs.  Those who have held this bill up are Americans first for crying out loud, not solely representatives of some backwater districts 1000 miles away from the Jersey Shore.  Priorities in helping your fellow American be damned when it comes to winning elections and pleasing some lobbyists and PAC donors.

We're typically the first to dump billions in some third world outpost to provide aid in times of need (tsunami and other disasters) and one would have to venture that such bills have pork in them.  We can't help New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, though, without holding the bill up to argue over pork?  Really?  We can end pork filtering such legislation (we absolutely shouldn't pork such bills up)...and that's another issue for another time.  However, let's get our country taken care of for once without dragging our feet.

It isn't the first time aid packages have been held up thanks to political grandstanding.  Irene aid faced similar issues last year.  However, given Sandy's bite has aggravated one governor who is willing to speak his mind and also tell it like it is when it comes to politics, last night's decision by House leadership riled Christie beyond mere lobbying, which he's been doing for a while over Twitter and in pressers.

On this, Christie is dead on.  Shame on the House leadership.

Editor's Note -- This post represents Tom's views and Tom's views alone.