Press Release

House Leadership Shamefully Fails to Take Up Superstorm Sandy Relief Bill

For Release: 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Contact:

Janet Bass
202-879-4554
jbass@aft.org

AFT's Weingarten: "It is unconscionable that the House GOP leadership shirked its responsibility by refusing to take up the Senate-passed bill to provide needed funding for states ravaged by Superstorm Sandy." 

WASHINGTON—Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on failure of House leadership to take up emergency funding for Superstorm Sandy: 

"It is unconscionable that the House GOP leadership shirked its responsibility by refusing to take up the Senate-passed bill to provide needed funding for states ravaged by Superstorm Sandy. Time and time again, Congress has stepped in—as it should—to provide support for communities suffering from natural disasters. It says something about who we are as a country and as a people that we move without hesitation to provide this needed assistance. And yet the people and communities still suffering the effects of Superstorm Sandy are left to wonder why the House Republican leadership has walked away   from this responsibility and from them. Expressions of sorrow, although welcome, won't put roofs over anyone's head, repair schools or helpcommunities begin to rebuild fractured lives.

"The House GOP leadership's decision not to bring up for a vote the Senate's bipartisan-approved $60.4 billion disaster relief package is a deplorable failure of leadership. Last night, two-thirds of House Republicans voted against raising taxes on the wealthy. Today, their leadership is postponing the vote to provide much-needed relief funds that would help ordinary citizens rebuild their lives. There is something wrong with this picture. Speaker Boehner and the Republicans should not leave town today until they pass this critical emergency funding."

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The AFT represents 1.6 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.