Opinion: Political grandstanding cannot happen with Hurricane Harvey relief

In this Sept. 5, 2017, photo, a worker walks past a pile of debris outside a business damaged by floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Spring, Texas. With federal disaster reserves running out, the House is swiftly moving to pass President Donald Trump’s request for a $7.9 billion first installment of relief for victims of Harvey. GOP leaders also hope to use the urgent Harvey aid bill to solve a far more vexing issue: Increasing the U.S. debt limit to permit the government to borrow freely again to cover its bills. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - Money is key to recovery from the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey.

It is too early to know what the final cost will be to fully repair the damage. Estimates have come in as high as $190 billion, according to AccuWeather. That far exceeds the cost of recovery from both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy.

The White House is requesting Congress authorize $7.85 billion for initial recovery efforts.

While it is widely expected that Congress find a way to provide this initial funding for relief efforts - the question is whether they will deliver enough to cover the full recovery costs, as they should.

Living in New York, my family and I saw firsthand the devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought in 2012.

Back then, certain lawmakers chose political grandstanding over providing the much-needed government assistance, which was significantly delayed as a result. No matter how divided our politicians are, that cannot occur again.

Here is the bottom line : we cannot let the bungled federal response following Hurricane Sandy happen to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. It is not who we are as Americans. Congress needs to be responsible when spending our tax dollars. In this case, their responsibility is to make sure that those suffering after Harvey get all the help they need.

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