In his recent inaugural address, President Obama spoke about not debating the role of government, but rather ensuring we "act in our time." A hundred days after Sandy, as many are still struggling to put their lives back together, is certainly the time to act.
Former Sen. Al D'Amato has called the opponents of Sandy relief a "bunch of jackasses." It's a term they should embrace. I recognize that many potential members of the Caucus may not seem qualified -- after all, they have requested assistance when disasters have struck their districts in the past.
Flooded subway stations in New York City. Earthquake damage in the Nation's Capital. The great city of New Orleans under water. These scenes, once seemingly out of science fiction, are all too real today. This is why I am introducing the Homeowners' Defense Act of 2013 in Congress.
While Congress fiddled with appropriations for communities devastated by Superstorm Sandy, the CDFI sector in many of those communities was busy finding and funding small business owners and others who wanted only to get back on their feet.
Out of the 67 GOP representatives that turned their back on the people of New York and New Jersey in their darkest hour, there are (at least) 10 that deserve dishonorable mention for going above and beyond the call of duty in their pitiless pursuit of cutthroat partisanship.
Disaster relief and reconstruction is a central element of the fundamental, irreducible responsibility of government: security. If we are to live in a civilized community, we need to figure out a way to fund, develop and maintain enhanced disaster response capacity.
I mean, seriously, Hurricane Sandy was a monumental national disaster of epic proportions -- and I'm not even exaggerating. How small, petty, mean-spirited, hurtful and inhuman do you have to be to not want to do everything you can to help?
Over the next several months, we will take every penny that was raised and grant funds to the most effective organizations helping low-income victims and vulnerable populations in New York City, Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut.