Another day and we will learn about this never-ending road. There is some chance we will survive the “fiscal cliff,” but we will still be left dangling as the debt crisis and larger financial issues remain to be resolved in the coming months. This stupid, ongoing bickering, with even more to come, is not only tiresome, but hurtful to all of us and our economy. This 112th congressional session has broken records in term of the few bills it has passed.
It appears that if a minimal bill is passed by by midnight or hours later, our Hurricane Sandy Relief Aid bill might be attached. But even that is far from a sure thing. House leadership does not seem to like the bill passed by the Senate and wants to appropriate a smaller sum and possibly include other expense-cutting off-sets. Also, appropriation bills are supposed to start in the House not the Senate, but two months after Sandy the House so far has failed to take up the matter.
Our congressional contingent, with the possible exception of Rep. Scott Garrett (R-5), is in support of the bill. However, our more conservative Republican members might acquiesce to a smaller package. Rep. Leonard Lance of Clinton Township wants a “clean” bill that does not include pork and unrelated items.” Even our Democrats might go along if they feel there is no other recourse to obtain funding. If a bill is not passed by January 3 the matter will have to be brought back up in the Senate and House in the new 113th congressional session.
In the meantime insurance companies and FEMA are paying slowly. The federal flood insurance fund is almost out of money. Foundations and relief agencies are helping along the edges. However, homeowners, beach communities, and large infrastructure projects remain in an uncertain, precarious position. Our State is strapped for extra money to provide any significant help, and only with a large infusion of construction-related aid can our economy begin to strengthen.
Presumably Governor Christie is applying pressure in the background. We will see how much good his endless, out-of-state forays on behalf of other Republican congressmen have accomplished. Our congressional contingent is certainly advocating for our needs. We should continue to call House members, particularly Republicans. Nonetheless, we are stuck in the muck of bickering, waiting for “another day, another destiny.”