WASHINGTON, DC—Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) released the following statement today calling on the House of Representatives to come together and pass aid for the victims of Superstorm Sandy:
“Writing at the time of Katrina, Harvard professor Michael Ignatieff called the Constitution a ‘contract of citizenship’ that promises, first and foremost, protection - that government will help ‘citizens to protect their families and possessions from forces beyond their control.’
"’In America,’ he writes, ‘a citizen has a claim of right on the resources of her government when she cannot - simply cannot - help herself.’
"’When disasters strike, they test whether the contract is respected in a citizen's hour of need. When the levees broke, the contract of American citizenship failed.’
“The levees broke. They broke in Connecticut and New York and in New Jersey.
“Government is about helping families recover and rebuild from major disasters like Superstorm Sandy. In a shocking display of neglect, this House Majority decided not to allow a vote on disaster aid funds so desperately needed to recover and repair from this storm.
“Hurricane Sandy was one of the most severe storms to hit Connecticut in our state’s history. All across our region families’ houses were destroyed and lives were upended.
“And whether it is a fire in the west, a tornado in the Midwest, a hurricane in the Gulf Coast or a storm in the northeast, this body acted. We didn’t say no. It was a resounding yes to help because it is the central responsibility of this institution to act on behalf of the American people.
“Yet here we are two months since Sandy destroyed tens of thousands of homes and businesses, took over 100 lives across this nation and the House Majority said no on a vote on disaster assistance to help millions of people get back on their feet again.
“The Republican leadership has broken that contract of citizenship.
“They have said no to my constituents in Stratford, in Milford, in New Haven, East Haven, West Haven, Branford, North Branford and Guilford. They said no to the rest of the town in Connecticut and New York and New Jersey.
“They broke the contract of citizenship. They said you are on your own.
“Our people cannot be on their own. We have a central responsibility to act on behalf of the American people when they are overwhelmed by circumstances they had no control over.
“Let us act today to restore that faith and confidence in the American government.”