By The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune:
Majority Leader Harry Reid made a passionate argument recently on the floor of the U.S. Senate for federal aid for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. “I think it is just unfortunate that we do not have the relief for New York and New Jersey and the rest already. It has to be done. We have to meet the needs of the American people when an act of God occurs.”
He was right. The people on the Eastern Seaboard who lost their homes and businesses in Sandy need their government to come to their aid, and to do so quickly. They have been waiting more than two months for Congress to act — and are still waiting on a comprehensive relief bill.
That should have made Reid’s argument simple: Sandy left a swath of destruction, and the storm’s victims need Congress to act in their best interest. Period.
Unfortunately, he didn’t leave it at that. He tried to make a case for Sandy’s victims by dismissing the pain of Katrina’s. When Congress approved $50 billion in disaster aid 10 days after Katrina, “the people of New Orleans and that area, they were hurt but nothing in comparison to what happened to the people in New York and New Jersey,” he told the Senate.
Later, he said that he misspoke, which is a backward way of saying that he was wrong. He went on to say that he has worked “to ensure that the people of the Gulf Coast have the resources they need to fully recover, and ... will continue to advocate on their behalf until the region is fully recovered.”
We’ll take him at his word on that. We are still recovering more than seven years after Katrina. The storm and the levee breaches combined did more than $145 billion in damage and killed 1,833 people in the Gulf region.
No doubt Sandy’s victims will be dealing with their losses for years to come as well. Whether here or there, families whose loved ones died or who saw their homes knocked off their foundations by floodwaters feel the same pain.
That is why it makes no sense to argue over whether one disaster is worse than another. The bottom line is that victims of Sandy, Isaac, Gustav, Rita, Katrina and other disasters need help to rebuild. What Congress should do now is provide the resources that families in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and elsewhere along the Atlantic Seaboard need to do that. ...
By The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune:
Gov. Bryant’s mulishness costing state
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Spend wisely every penny of settlement money for BP oil spill
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Miss. schools need action, latest NEAP scores show
The National Center for Education Statistics released its 2013 Nation’s Report Card on Thursday, and the news for Mississippi was mixed, at best.
Philippines storm sparks memories on Coast, we must send aid
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