House Approves Sandy Relief Bill
The measure comes 78 days after Sandy hit the East Coast causing major damage to homes, businesses and municipal facilities, as well disruption, severe personal hardship and displacement for hundreds of thousands of residents.
It is estimated that upwards of 17.5 million Americans were directly affected by the storm.
The relief bill was passed by a vote of 241 to 180, with 179 Republicans opposing the measure.
The House bill comes on top of the $9.7 billion allocated to replenish flood-insurance programs which was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Obama earlier this month.
According to reports the just passed relief package would among other things provide funds to repair heavily damaged New York and New Jersey transit system and also $5.4 billion for FEMA Disaster Relief Fund to provide cash grants directly to storm victims.
Commented Assemblyman Philip Goldfeder, “…while it is unfortunate we had to wait over two months to get much needed funding, I am pleased to know that we will have the monies necessary to continue helping (our area). It is going to be a long and slow recovery but we finally have the tools we need to put the pieces of our lives back together and finally take necessary actions to prepare for the future.”
The House measure now goes to the Senate where it is expected to easily pass.
Local outrage was sparked in December when an earlier Senate passed measure was allowed to expire at the end of the 112th Congress in 2012.