Editorial: Delayed action a loss where it matters most – here


We’re going to need a scorecard for the villains inside the Beltway preventing North Carolina and other locations from here to Alaska from getting needed assistance in the wake of natural disasters.

A bill with disaster aid of $19 billion had essentially passed last Thursday, and a signature from the Oval Office was confirmed waiting. Friday we found out there’s a freshman Republican lawmaker from somewhere between San Antonio and Austin, Rep. Chip Roy, who in a nearly empty chamber that day prevented what senators had passed 85-8.

First came the president, then Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader from New York. Why did Roy decide to get on the scorecard? After Trump conceded a loss to Schumer and Democrats’ power play removing $4.5 billion for a southern border wall, Roy based his decision on exactly that.

This is a 46-year-old who was chief of staff to Sen. Ted Cruz when the latter led us to a government shutdown in 2013 over funding for the 2010 health care law. Cruz, by the way, voted for the disaster aid bill Thursday.

Texans are still without homes, the state Democrats told everyone in apparent reference to Hurricane Harvey from 2017.

Here in North Carolina, we were still dealing with Hurricane Matthew from October 2016 when Hurricane Florence came ashore last September. A month later, Hurricane Michael, the first category 5 storm at landfall since Andrew in 1992, slammed into the Florida panhandle.

Whether they’re row crops, poultry and swine in the Old North State, timber in Florida and Georgia, or cotton in the fields of Alabama, farmers have been to the banks, they’ve borrowed and they’ve done all they can.

In our state, we saw animal farms in their entirety go under water. Contracting companies and banks, of course, will say they’ll be with you; that equates to more borrowing.

The House passed a $14 billion package in January, but the president’s push for a border wall led to a government shutdown. The aid package was collateral damage.

We waited.

As Easter approached and congressmen tried to get a deal done before taking two weeks off, another $14 billion package was left behind. Aid to Puerto Rico was the major stumbling block.

We waited.

Now we wait again.

Our assistance from the government is held hostage, first by one of its billionaires, then by a Harvard-educated “incorrigible publicity hound” as he’s often described, and now by a Capitol Hill freshman.

There’s a lot of debate about the southern border and Puerto Rico.

There’s no debate on what’s needed for North Carolinians.

We are not impressed by the gamesmanship, and we could care less which party will ultimately feel like “they won.”

We just need help.

For months, we have been treated like pawns in a game. That’s a loss where it matters most.