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This is a critical week for New Jersey.
This week the United States Congress will vote on a Sandy Relief Package that will provide $60.4 billion to help New Jersey and other states recover and rebuild from the devastation of Superstorm Sandy.
While $60 billon is an incredible amount of money, numbers alone fail to paint the full picture of what we have seen throughout New Jersey. The full story lies in the faces of displaced people who find themselves homeless; their possessions and keepsakes gone. The full story lies with the small business owners who have had to shut their doors.
The preliminary damage estimate provided by Governor Christie is now up to $36.9 billion. So $60.4 billion in federal disaster relief funding to be spread across the region is a good start. But we must pass the Sandy Relief Package quickly, and in its entirety, so we can tell New Jerseyans that they are not alone; that all Americans are in this together. This vote says that we are ready as a nation to help families, businesses, and communities recover.
Yesterday, on the Senate floor, I once again made the case for New Jersey. I made the case for New Jersey families and small businesses still trying to recover; for homeowners in Little Ferry; shopkeepers in Moonachie; for every family who lost property and possessions all along the Jersey Shore and across the State; for our commuters who rely on public transportation to get to school and work; for those who lost power and went without fuel.
And, while some of my Republican colleagues may not be able to fathom the sheer scope of the damage, I explained that entire neighborhoods — where several generations of families lived in close-knit communities – are now gone; that thousands of decades-old small businesses are ruined. I pointed out that even though those scenes are no longer showing in living rooms across the country, it doesn’t mean that the recovery is over.
The need is clear for the passage of the entire Sandy Relief Package. A piecemeal recovery will be a stalled recovery and, in all likelihood, a failed recovery. And failure to recover and rebuild New Jersey’s infrastructure, economy, small businesses and communities is not an option.
This is one country: the United States of America. And when there was destruction along the entire Gulf Coast with Katrina, or a tornado in Joplin, Missouri, or crop destruction in the Midwest, we have come together as a nation to support these communities. The time is now for all members of Congress to stand with New Jersey, just as we have stood with them in times of crisis and natural disasters.
New Jersey has been battered, but we are not broken. We are stronger and more united in our efforts to work together to recover, rebuild, and recommit ourselves to uniting around our common concerns and shared values. That is the lesson we have learned, and together we will rebuild. The Garden State will bloom once again.
And I for one will not rest until the rebuilding is done.
United States Senator
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Why, o why, am I so cynical?
What’s in the bill?
And, why is it a Federal problem?
Sorry, but the Gooferement isn’t insurance.
Or even kind.
The politicians and bureaucrats steal from us. distribute our own fnds, and then claim the mantle of sainthood for themselves.