Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Voice of Revisionist History

Revisionist history has no place in a newspaper. Yet, that is exactly what was used to make a point about flooding and flood relief in their paper.

The premise is that Republicans have no problem entering into wars and funding them but won’t take care of people at home when they get flooded with the same vigor that they will enter war with.

Since the Voice seems to have forgotten, let’s remind them…in the House, 81 Democrats (including Paul Kanjorski) voted to send us to war with Iraq. In the Senate, 29 Democrats including Hillary Clinton, Vice-President Joe Biden, Harry Reid, and former presidential nominee John Kerry, voted to send us to war with Iraq.

There was bi-partisan support to send us to war with Iraq and the war continued to be funded with bi-partisan support. As a matter of fact, President Obama as a Senator, voted with Hillary Clinton for some $300 billion in war funding since entering the Senate in 2005. You might remember, it was a campaign issue.

The flood projects that Kanjorski actually put together took years to develop and secure funding for. Kanjorski started service in Congress in 1985 and it took until 2002 to get the flood control portion of the Wyoming Valley flood project completed. Solomon Creek flooded three times between 2004 and 2007, when Kanjorski finally got the legislation together to authorize the Army Corp to protect some 300 homes. It took Kanjorski years to get flood relief in Scranton.

In other areas, like Bloomsburg, he never substantially delivered. He got around to making a big push in the 2009 even though he acknowledged in his own statements that the area was prone to flooding for over sixty years.

Barletta and Marino have been in Congress for months, not years. And, by any fair measure, they have been working very hard to bring flood relief to the people hurt by this most recent disaster and to change the way the federal government deals with disasters such as these in the future.

Barletta brought the Speaker of the House to NEPA so that he could see first-hand the damage that was left in the wake of the flood. He led the fight to get low interest rate loans for businesses and homes damaged by the flooding. Barletta also fought to get farmers the help they need to recover from these natural disasters.

Marino led on the Hurricane Irene Coalition to have NEPA flooding added to the scope of its commission and to ensure that FEMA had necessary funding to participate in the recovery efforts. Marino is being proactive to make sure the federal response to flooding in the future is improved.

Both members of Congress distributed emergency disaster kits and made their staff available to the victims of the flood to help them navigate the ridiculous, circuitous process that flood victims have to go through to get federal help.

Both of these men have done an excellent job in responding to this disaster. They are fighting the good fight. Instead of attempting to score political points based on a false premise (which can only be described as ignorance of history, political bias, or perhaps a little of both) they deserve our thanks for their responsiveness and leadership in a time of crisis.

No comments: