The disaster-stricken cluck tongues at Congress

AP News

9/26/2011 5:20:27 PM - AP News
A piano chair hangs from the ceiling in the home of Martha Gordon as she looks through her home destroyed during the flood in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, Monday, Sept. 26, 2011, in Wayne, N.J. The chair, which was on top of a piano, was lodged into the ceiling when the Ramapo River crested sending floodwaters into the residence. Gordon, who has lived at the house for 50 years, says she has given up and will be tearing the house and moving to Maine. She has talked to FEMA, but doesn't expect any quick relief aid. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) The Associated Press Robert Gordon sorts through items from his destroyed home damaged during floods in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, Monday, Sept. 26, 2011, in Wayne, N.J. Gordon and his wife, Martha, say the are moving to Maine because the house in which they lived in for 50 years has to be demolished. Martha Gordon has talked to FEMA, but doesn't expect any quick relief aid. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) The Associated Press A piano chair hangs from the ceiling in the home of Martha Gordon as she looks through her destroyed home during the flood in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, Monday, Sept. 26, 2011, in Wayne, N.J. The chair, which was on top of a piano, was lodged into the ceiling when the Ramapo River crested sending floodwaters into the residence. Gordon, who has lived at the house for 50 years, says she has given up and will be tearing the house and moving to Maine. She has talked to FEMA, but doesn't expect any quick relief aid. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) The Associated Press Martha Gordon looks away from her riverfront home along the Ramapo River as she holds back tears while describing the damages caused by a flood in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, Monday, Sept. 26, 2011, in Wayne, N.J. Gordon, who has lived at the house for 50 years, says she has given up and will be tearing the house down and moving to Maine. She has talked to FEMA, but doesn't expect any quick relief aid. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) The Associated Press Martha Gordon carefully steps through the destroyed hardwood floors of her home damaged during the floods caused by Hurricane Irene, Monday, Sept. 26, 2011, in Wayne, N.J. Gordon, who has lived at the house for 50 years, says she has given up and will be tearing the house down and moving to Maine. She has talked to FEMA, but doesn't expect any quick relief aid. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) The Associated PressWATERBURY, Vt. (AP) — For disaster victims still rebuilding, the anxiety is exceeded only by anger at Congress for making federal recovery aid seem, to them, like a pawn in a political battle over government spending.A sharply divided Congress has repeatedly rejected a deal that included funding federal disaster assistance. That has stoked fears of no plan to continue aid for victims of recent storms.On Monday, a vote in their favor seemed increasingly likely. There was also word that the money in fact might last through the new budget year, which begins Saturday.Still, people like 61-year-old Barbara Lewis of Philadelphia were dismayed that it was part of the argument at all. Her home was damaged by flooding.She says "politicians will play politics because it's not their lives."