Senate Passes $50.5 Billion Disaster Relief Bill

Michigan Street in Long Beach after Hurricane Sandy devastated the city in October. (Credit: Joseph Kellard)
Michigan Street in Long Beach after Hurricane Sandy devastated the city in October. (Credit: Joseph Kellard)

The U.S. Senate narrowly approved a $50.5 billion federal aid bill for New York and neighboring states three months after they sustained the wrath of Hurricane Sandy.

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The bill passed Monday night by a vote of 62-36, just beyond the 60-vote minimum required for approval in the Senate, with Democrats unanimously voting in favor of the legislation. President Obama must now sign the bill.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who held a press conference in Point Lookout on Sunday about the legislation and the specific projects the funds provides to storm-damaged communities from the New Jersey Shore to Long Beach to Montauk, said after Monday’s vote:  

"At long last, relief is now coming to our homeowners who need to rebuild, small businesses who are trying to reopen, and communities that have laid out billions of dollars for repairs after the storm.”

Before the vote, Sen. Michael Lee, a Republican from Utah, called for an amendment to institute a percent federal spending cut to the forthcoming nine years to pay for the Sandy aid, but both Democrats and Republicans rejected it by a 62-35 vote, according to Newsday.

Along with Congress’s approval of $9.7 billion bill for national flood insurance claims that was approved Jan. 4, the $50.7 billion legislation will deliver about $60 billion in aid that Obama requested Dec. 7.

Jack January 29, 2013 at 10:59 PM
Give the Sandy money directly to the taxpaying homeowner not people like Boozehound joe who are getting disability checks from no show union jobs and cashes it at Shines in between chain smoking.
Gloria G January 30, 2013 at 09:27 PM
I had to spend over $80,000 to rebuild and Fema is giving me $17,000. I had flood insurance.I am sick over this And today in t he mail I got my bill to renew my flood insurance Are they serious?
Carly January 30, 2013 at 10:10 PM
Responsible people who paid their insurance payments for years have been left high and dry because of so many who didn't bother to have a policy. I know people whose unfinished basements and garages were flooded who received $18,000 to $31,000 from FEMA who didn't have insurance. I know a LB man who didn't have contents insurance who lied and said his place was awash in sewage (it wasn't since I live next door) who received $20,000 and is bragging about it. Seventy percent of my home has been damaged but I can't get one call returned from anyone on our council and have been stonewalled by my insurance company. All I can say is that this country has been turned upside down. Honesty and hard work is apparently unprofitable and uncool. Living on the backs of others and lying to grab money from those who deserve it is appalling, but it's the norm. So so sad.
Patrick Smith January 31, 2013 at 08:58 PM
flood insurance is a government program ,insurance companies wont even look at this ,but they do get money from you some way or other.they are all whores


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