Congress approves $50bn Sandy aid

2013-01-29 11:57
Sandy aftermath. (File, AFP)

Sandy aftermath. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - Congress on Monday finally approved more than $50bn in emergency disaster aid for Hurricane Sandy, 13 weeks after the superstorm ravaged much of the coastal US northeast and left thousands homeless.

The bill, approved earlier this month by the House, comes after a nearly monthlong delay triggered bipartisan rage that Republican lawmakers were politicising relief funding and seeking to offset the costly legislation with federal spending cuts at a time of crisis for thousands of Americans.

The $50.5bn in immediate and short-term funding forms the bulk of the $60.2bn in total aid approved by Congress for victims of the storm, which killed 120 people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes and businesses, with the bulk of the damage occurring in New Jersey and New York.

A $9.7bn tranche providing emergency flood relief funding was approved earlier in January.

Monday's relief bill, which needed to surpass a 60-vote threshold, passed 62-36 and now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

It has been "91 days since we have been languishing, waiting for our government to respond to the critical issues, life-and-death situations of fellow Americans", Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey told the chamber minutes before the vote.

Frustrations boiling over

Menendez, like other lawmakers deeply frustrated at the slow congressional pace, compared the relief process to Katrina, "where $60bn was moved in 11" days.

Frustration among lawmakers and state officials in the northeast boiled over in late December, when the US House failed to take up a Senate-passed Sandy supplemental bill before the 112th Congress came to an end, meaning emergency relief legislation had to start from scratch in the 113th Congress.

The senators easily defeated an amendment to the bill which had sought to offset billions of dollars in hurricane relief costs with federal spending cuts.

There was widespread relief after the Senate passed its latest measure, including from northeastern governors who expressed gratitude for the Senate passage "despite the difficult path in getting to this moment".

The Senate "clearly recognised early on the urgency and necessity of approving the full aid package and its importance in rebuilding our battered infrastructure and getting our millions of affected residents back on their feet as quickly as possible", governors Andrew Cuomo of New York, Chris Christie of New Jersey, and Dannel Malloy of Connecticut said in a statement.

- SAPA

Read more on:    barack obama  |  us  |  us superstorm
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

DA wants to empower fishing communities - Zille

DA leader Helen Zille says the party has a plan for harbours and small-scale fishing communities.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 10:15 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS approaching Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Bold Design The BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone combines the iconic BlackBerry...

From R2979.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.