House passes $50.7 billion for Superstorm Sandy aid
WASHINGTON — The House passed a $50.7 billion disaster relief bill for victims of Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday, 78 days after the storm began pounding the Northeast.
Lawmakers voted 241-180 to approve the final bill, which includes $17 billion in emergency spending and $33.7 billion in an amendment from Republican Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey.
“People are hurting,” Frelinghuysen told lawmakers on the House floor. “The suffering and damage are real and their needs are great.”
The Oct. 29 storm killed more than 100 people in 10 states — 41 in New York City alone — and wiped out entire communities in coastal New York and New Jersey.
Republican Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey said more than 22,000 homes were destroyed in his state, and people “desperately need help.”
“We are not crying wolf here,” he added.
The bill approved Tuesday includes $16 billion in Community Development Block Grant money critical for rebuilding, $10.9 billion for public transportation projects, and $5.4 billion for Army Corps of Engineers projects. It also includes $11.5 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster relief fund.
Other successful amendments to the bill would require FEMA to identify the recipients of all disaster relief grants and would prohibit the federal government from using the aid to acquire more land.
Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey of New York said Northeast residents have waited far too long for Congress to act.
“Sandy devastated the Northeast and is one of the most costly natural disasters in our nation's history,” she said. “It is imperative that we pass this package today.”
The House bill, combined with $9.7 billion the House and Senate approved Jan. 4 to help storm victims pay flood insurance claims, brings the total amount of House-passed Sandy aid to $60.4 billion.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pilot in Atlantic Ocean crash lost consciousness, Coast Guard says
- Border Patrol agent opens fire on armed militia member in Texas
- Use of body cameras by police gain favor across nation
- Manatee status as ‘endangered’ draws complaints; classification under review
- Revival of beer gardens in Milwaukee prompts other cities to consider it to shore up budgets
- New heart drug seen as significant breakthrough
- Squashing stereotypes has women learning carpentry
- Texas appeals judge’s ruling on restrictive abortion law
- California governor appeals ruling that struck down schoolteacher tenure
- Half-ton alligator sets world record
- Uzi victim’s family feels sorry for girl, 9, who squeezed trigger