President Obama finally signed a disaster relief declaration yesterday, Save Jerseyans. This act releases FEMA funds for flood-ravaged Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic and Somerset counties. Affected residents in those counties can apply immediately by contacting 1-800-621-FEMA.
I frankly don’t know what took the Administration this long. Maybe the President has been too busy angling to shaft Rick Perry out of his big debate debut to worry about the Garden State’s problems, or perhaps DHS Secretary Napolitano is hopelessly occupied reinforcing her career dam as pressure builds surrounding her possible involvement in the outrageous “fast and furious” scandal down Mexico way. It’s all the more frustrating that New Jersey politicians from both parties shared displeasure over the White House’s slow pace over the past few days until (and this is key) a new set of Democrat talking points went out that sought to place the blame squarely with the House GOP.
Somebody needs to explain to me why it is the Republican members’ fault for posing rational spending cuts as a way to pay for federal aid? That’s what this is really about after all, and everyone agrees that we are facing yet another an economically perilous financial crisis… right? So isn’t it also the Democrats’ fault for holding up federal aid by refusing to accept simple, relatively uncontroversial spending reductions? If these Dems could only work as fast and furiously as they spin for political gain, then the outlook would appear much rosier right now in dozens of severely flooded New Jersey communities. Wouldn’t it?
But politics is what it is, and ultimate blame for the delay, it seems, is doomed to be a partisan hot potato at the expense of suffering New Jersey taxpayers. That’s what I took away from the Governor’s Wednesday comments on the topic: