Four East Coast governors — two Republicans and two Democrats — are calling on Congress to ditch the partisan quibbling and approve disaster funding for states damaged by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
Govs. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.), Tom Corbett (R-Pa.) and Bev Purdue (D-N.C.) argue that in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Washington moved quickly to secure tens of billions in Gulf Coast aid but has let the process become enmeshed in politics this time around.
"Federal assistance for the victims of storms and floods should be beyond politics," the governors wrote Friday. "Our states’ governments and our citizens are doing their part to restore and rebuild. The federal government must also do its part."
The Republican-controlled House and Democratic-controlled Senate are engaged in a broil over a stopgap spending measure that the House has passed and the Senate has rejected. Although the federal government has enough money to function through the end of the month, the Federal Emergency Management Association will run dry by Monday, both parties have said.
Republicans are accusing Democrats of holding up the FEMA funding by voting against the measure, while Democrats say Republicans have held it hostage by demanding that emergency aid be offset by cuts to other programs.