Viewpoint: January 18, 2013

When people in Belmar, NJ gathered last week to break ground on their infamous boardwalk, many in south Louisiana could relate to their desire to rebuild. Just like the people of New Jersey, we know the challenges and struggles of rebuilding in the wake of a deadly hurricane.

That's why Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's comments comparing Hurricane Katrina victims to Hurricane Sandy victims were ludicrous. Reid says he "misspoke" when he said Katrina victims were hurt, but nothing in comparison to those in the Northeast.

"Misspoke" is an understatement. Reid's comments show just how out-of-touch some in Washington can be. The people of Belmar borrowed money to start construction as opposed to waiting on the federal government, and many in south Louisiana are still struggling more than seven years  after Katrina.

Congress should focus its attention on ways to expedite federal help when disasters occur, so those who need help the most get it in a timely manner, regardless of where the disaster occurs.