msnbc | January 05, 2013
>> 68 days and counting since super storm sandy slammed the east coast . it took congress until yesterday to approve a fraction of the badly needed federal funds disaster victims have been begging for. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle on new jersey and new york are absolutely furious and asbury mayor johnson is here. are there members of congress, perhaps who underestimate the destruction that the storm caused?
>> i really can't tell you. i'm not sure what's going on. we have yet to see any major leader of congress come to the ground in new york or new jersey and actually visit.
>> not to my knowledge, and so for -- we have a lot of people, we hear a lot from congress saying that perhaps the disaster wasn't as -- as disastrous as people tell us, where the damage wasn't as great, but they don't know what they're talking about until they've been down on the ground with the people of new jersey.
>> congress is ready to approve $9.7 billion in federal funds and that's about 15% of the $60 billion package and money designated for people who have flood insurance . what's going to happen to them and how are people without flood insurance in your town in particular how have they been able to hold it together.
>> they're not, and that's exactly the truth of the matter.
>> we have people and let me just drill down on this. we have college students that have dropped out of college because of this, because of home disasters. we have 72,000 homes and businesses damaged or destroyed and that's just in new jersey. so we have people outside of their home, outside of their jobs, outside of their lives and there are people waiting and here we are in january, in the midst of winter. so we have a whole bunch of people that are asking, that are begging for help.
>> critics of the bill have said that one of the problems is that it was laden with pork. what's your response to that?
>> well, you know what? there's a point, and i understand. i've been listening very carefully to what they have to say, but you know, the time to debate the lifeboats is not after the titanic has hit the iceberg and that's exactly what's going on right now. we need help now, and if you want to talk about fema or you want to talk about our disaster response in the united states which i believe that we do need to talk about because i can compare our disaster response or disaster system almost to our electrical grid . both are outdated and they're dealing with 20th century policy with 21st century needs.
>> we'll leave it there. thank you so much for your time. we do appreciate you being here and i especialliy appreciate the washington redskins pin.