MOONACHIE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The debate over federal aid for Superstorm Sandy victims has infuriated many elected officials, but it is more than a war of words for those still struggling in the aftermath of the devastating storm.
As CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported, for thousands, the funding fight threatens their ability to rebuild.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was met with criticism from both sides of the political spectrum Wednesday for his sudden decision to pull the plug on the vote for desperately needed aid for Superstorm Sandy victims.
Following the barrage of attacks, Boehner assured Tri-State Area lawmakers that a vote on the full $60.4 billion aid bill will come in less than two weeks. Both bills will have to be approved by the Senate as well.
And in Moonachie, N.J., residents were desperate for that to happen.
“I think we’re getting screwed,” said Honey Bailey, 84.
Bailey said she has lived in the same Moonachie home since the day she was born, and is angry that the House has so far failed to take action on the Sandy relief bill.
“You’re waiting for help and you’re not getting it,” Bailey said. “I guess it’s been that way for years.”
Bailey lives in the home with her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. All were rescued from the second floor of their home the day after Sandy struck.
They just moved back into the home after living in a hotel for two months.
Meanwhile, the Meehans have already used up the $8,000 they received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“We just keep moving ahead and keeping our fingers crossed at this point,” said Mike Meehan. “We have get back to our lives.”
The Meehans are still waiting to get insurance money, but whatever it is likely won’t cover the tens of thousands of dollars they need to rebuild their first floor.
“I don’t know what they’re thinking. I really don’t know what they’re thinking,” Meehan said. “You have all these people in this situation. How do you ignore them?”
Everyone has been watching the legislative back and forth on TV. But they’re all rapidly losing faith in the political process while their savings run dry.
When asked if she wishes she had a vote, Bailey said, “No. Why vote? They promise you everything and give you nothing.”
It is a frustration Gov. Chris Christie shares.
“In our hour of desperate need we have been left waiting for help 6 times longer than the victims of Katrina with no end in sight,” Christie said. “New Jerseyans and New Yorkers are tired of being treated like second-class citizens.”
Meehan has already gone through $30,000 of his savings to repair his home, which still has no furniture inside. At this point, he is hoping that Congress acts soon and that he sees some of the federal aid.
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