Speaker of the House John Boehner is taking heat from all sides for delaying the decisive vote on the post-Hurricane Sandy federal aid package. Even his fellow Republicans have blasted Mr. Boehner. Many of the local Democrats who jumped into the fray used the motif of the famous 1975 Daily News cover that implied Gerald Ford told the city to “drop dead” when he vowed to veto federal aid to the five boroughs in their assessments of Mr. Boehner’s conduct. Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson explicitly credited his source material in his shot at Mr. Boehner.
“The decision by House Speaker John Boehner to postpone a vote on Hurricane Sandy aid for the New York region is a travesty of epic proportions,” Mr. Thompson said in a statement. “The move is reminiscent of the famous newspaper headline from the 1970’s when the federal government refused to help New York City in a time of need. ‘Boehner to City: Drop Dead’ is an appropriate headline for the Speaker’s actions.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo spent the day in Washington yesterday lobbying for the approximately $40 billion in federal aid he is asking for to help the state recover from Hurricane Sandy. Politicker spoke with sources familiar with the governor’s schedule to get details on how he spent his time and who he met with on his first trip to Washington since taking office.
“The governor hit the trifecta; the White House, the Majority Leader and the speaker,” an administration official said.
Most of the discussion surrounding the request New York is making for billions in Sandy recovery aid has focused on repairing the damage caused by the storm. However, at yesterday’s press conference where he discussed the push for federal aid, Senator Chuck Schumer said the efforts of elected officials will also include securing funds for storm protection projects.
“There is money for mitigation,” Mr. Schumer said in response to a question from Politicker. “I don’t know New Jersey’s division yet, but New York’s is 32 billion for the actual damage that occurred, for recovery from that, and 9 billion for mitigation.”
WASHINGTON — Yesterday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg sounded quite skeptical the city would get the billions of dollars in federal aid he is requesting after Hurricane Sandy when he sarcastically joked that he was as “optimistic” about the prospect of getting the funds as he had been about getting the West Side stadium he unsuccessfully pushed for. At the press conference after his series of meetings with lawmakers and officials in Washington today he sounded far more confident, so Politicker asked whether he was now more genuinely optimistic his request for aid would be fulfilled
“I’m always genuinely optimistic, although I will say we’re unlikely to get the stadium on the West Side,” Mr. Bloomberg said with a laugh. “I walked away this morning as optimistic as you could be. Nothing is ever done until it’s done. There is always a possibility of other things occurring during the process…but from both Republicans and Democrats in both houses, we got very optimistic buzz, if you will.”
After the Storm
WASHINGTON — Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in Washington D.C. today meeting with lawmakers and other officials about his request for billions of dollars in federal aid to help the city recover from the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy last month in New York. Though many City residents affected by Sandy have had some criticism about FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security’s response to the storm, at a press conference in the Capitol Building this afternoon, Mr. Bloomberg said he didn’t have a single issue with the federal followup to the hurricane.
Earlier today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg formally petitioned the federal government for billions of dollars in financial assistance to help cover the costs incurred from the fatal winds and storm surge that came with Hurricane Sandy last month. However, when he was asked about the request at the end of an unrelated press conference today, Mr. Bloomberg sounded skeptical that he’d get what he asked for.
“I’m always optimistic,” he said this afternoon. “I always believe that we’re going to win. I still think we’re going to get that stadium on the West Side. I still think that we’re going to get the 2012 Olympics. I’m always an optimist and never give in.”
We’re officially in a state of emergency.
After signing emergency declarations for Maryland and Massachusetts, President Barack Obama did the same for New York this evening, effective across all 62 counties in the Empire State. The move, which allows federal aid to assist in response and recovery efforts, comes after Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency Friday afternoon.