Mrs. CAROLYN B. MALONEY of New York. I thank my colleague and good friend from New York for yielding and for her extraordinary leadership in this body.
I rise in support of the rule and the two underlying bills.
As a region, the Northeast should not be held to a different standard. The Northeast was there when other States were struck with disasters. We were there with the aid. We didn't delay. We didn't put roadblocks. We didn't put forward all types of requirements to be met. We voice voted. We moved swiftly.
The Northeast, which is suffering from the second worst natural disaster in the history of our great country, the residents there have been suffering for 2 1/2 months. Over 2 1/2 million people lost all their electricity; some still don't have it. We need the aid and we need it now so that we can start rebuilding.
The Northeast is important. These amendments are important, not only for this region, but for the entire country.
The New York metropolitan area produces an estimated 11 percent of our gross domestic product. The country is better off when our Nation's economic engine is working at 100 percent.
These three States pay 16 percent of the taxes of our great country, but they can't produce if their subways are broken, if their schools are flooded, if the hospitals have been evacuated and the money is not there to help them rebuild. They can't produce. They can't be part of the great economic engine of this country.
I just plead with my colleagues not to have a double standard, not to vote tornado relief to Alabama, to Louisiana, to Mississippi, Missouri, with Ike, Gustav, Katrina, Rita, but when it comes to the Northeast with the second worst storm in the history of our country, to delay, delay, delay. We need the aid. We need it now. We need the entire package. You can't rebuild a subway station with one brick; you have to do the whole thing.