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U.S. Senate Approves Sandy Relief Bill

The $60.4 billion aid package needs to pass in Congress before it reaches the President's desk.

A $60.4 billion Hurricane Sandy relief bill was approved by the U.S. Senate Friday, New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg's office announced, putting it a House of Representatives passage away from reaching President Barack Obama's desk for certain signing. 

The bill was crafted in part by Lautenberg, vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, and would primarily benefit New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The aid package, requested by Obama and championed by state officials, including Gov. Chris Christie, passed with bipartisan support in the Senate, 62-32.

Congress has yet to vote on the bill, though the Republican-controlled House has raised significant opposition to the aid package. At a recent town hall, Christie urged Congress to approve the aid bill as introduced so New Jersey, which suffered more than $37 billion in property damage during Hurricane Sandy, can get back to work rebuilding. 

Congress has not set a timetable for voting on the Sandy Bill as debates continue on how to best address the upcoming fiscal cliff. 

Lautenberg outlined some of the areas where funding would be allocated. In all, $17 billion would be used for Community Development Block Grants to be put toward rebuilding homes, buildings and public infrastructure. Another $12 billion would be used to rebuild and improve transportation and $5.3 billion would be put toward future flood mitigation.

The bill also allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay an additional $9.7 billion from the National Flood Insurance Program on accepted claims.  

“This bill is a winner for New Jersey, and today’s Senate vote demonstrates national support for the recovery efforts in our state and throughout the region to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy,” Lautenberg said in a release.

“This emergency aid will go a long way to help New Jersey residents and businesses and strengthen our state’s beautiful shore and critical transportation network. The rebuilding period following a natural disaster is a critical time to build stronger and smarter, so that we can minimize the damage when the next storm strikes."

Wilson B Goode December 30, 2012 at 07:59 PM
You are one funny poster. You make zero sense. Let's give free stuff to everyone and borrow trillions. It doesn't matter that companies pay wages payroll taxes Corp taxes property taxes and then employees pay all those things. Just forget it all. Raise taxes for 8 days of spending because tax increases don't create jobs. Reduce spending or balance budgets but who cares. We can just print money to pay the interest costs on the money we can't pay back. What can we spend on next. Snt doesn't matter. It's no longer irresponsible and unpatriotic. That was just campaign stuff back in 08. Apple is greedy yet liberals like me love our iPhones.
Fred RBPatch December 30, 2012 at 08:08 PM
A-MEN to THAT, Ann Powers!
joyce December 30, 2012 at 08:39 PM
People waiting for beach replenishment in the south end? Keep waiting. When the small group of biking enthusiasts wanted to take protective wetlands for a tourist attraction at Crook Horn Creek, the previous Mayor spent thousands of OC tax dollars to apply for a permit to do just that but was denied by the NJDEP. And then these same guys wanted to take protective wetlands from 35th Street south - almost made it too except this Mayor knew that the permits would never be approved so he didn't waste the money trying. Now of course, the same guys want the protective wetlands behind 59th Street for a little bike trail. Will they get the wetlands or will common sense prevail since the south end almost got wiped off the earth with Sandy. We need the beaches replenished, we need the dunes and we need the wetlands for protection and we need these people to either leave the south end alone, or work to protect the south end. They take our taxes don't they? If the south end beaches are not on the list for replenishment, not a big surprise since we are ignored - but can you please stop trying to take the wetlands too like you have now for years? South end is narrow and low and we need all the protection we can get!!!
Antrolle Rolle December 30, 2012 at 08:45 PM
vic vic vic you silly republicon bobble head Im happy thanks for the concern just point out the hypocrisy of you republicon repukes who dont seem to have a problem invading Iraq based on lies or have a problem standing with your hand out or tax breaks for big oil and corp america but want to squeeze ppl on ss who by the way paid into it vic your one car accident away or one pink slip from being in the 47% now what did you christian conservatives learn in church today ? nothing
Antrolle Rolle December 30, 2012 at 08:46 PM
come on Vic we all know you applied to fema and now are a little on the bitter side cheer up re apply
Antrolle Rolle December 30, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Wilson Mitt lost Bush invaded Iraq based on lies google Colin Powell How much of this was borrowed? All of it How about Ak ? you know there the bridge to no where is ? where ppl get a check for just living there? where the hypocrite nailin Palin lives? but you say continue to give corp welfare but cut senior citizen s benefits? let welfare ppl starve? what was the tax rate again under ST Ronnie? How about we cut the military budget and foreign aid? What is the status of your fema app? Mittens said fema is immoral Whats immoral is flood insurance when you have a flood and the insurance co wants to blame it on something else lol
Antrolle Rolle December 30, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Hey wilson any idea how much of the debt is based on Bushs 2 unfunded wars and medicare part d and tax cuts that didnt produce jobs plus the fact that republicon repukes are trying to bk SS and Medicare
Antrolle Rolle December 30, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Thanks for trying both Fema and flood insurance long live corp america
Wilson B Goode December 30, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Gee antrolle hows you alias Frankrizzo or mirror or how many other stupid fake names are you gonna use to write the same moronic stuff? I don't care about Mittens. Make fun all you want. The country is bankrupt and we just borrow more and more each day. 20 trillion plus trillions more each year and all you can do is post stupid comments all day long. Try reading a budget and you will see how broke we are. http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/tables.pdf here's last month's financial report. 170B in debt. 1month. All on OBAMA. And that's with more tax revenues over last year. http://www.fms.treas.gov/mts/mts1112.pdf SPENDING IS THE PROBLEM! but hey who cares. borrow all we can I say. we ain't never payin back so whats the big deal. Just like all those deadbeat homeowners. Spend spend spend til your daddy takes your credit card away....(think beach boys music) Here's a question for ya...if Obamacare is so great, how come Obama and his family and congress aren't using it?
Galye Cole December 30, 2012 at 10:26 PM
I hope this is not true about Ocean City wanting to destroy wetlands. Why? (please don't tell me its for a bike path again!!!) I thought the DEP and FEMA are encouraging towns to protect wetlands and restore them after the Sandy disaster.
frank rizzo December 30, 2012 at 10:53 PM
hey "wilson b goode" unlike your "johnny b good" fake name which you didnt even get right so you used wilson frank rizzo is my real name. funny thing you sound a lot like a patch troll named barney who the patch banned this week for racist and moronic comments. look like youre just a few comments away from being S##tcanned too. the reason 50% of people pay little or no tax is because they hardly make any money. your answer is to increase corporate welfare and more freebies for the wealthy while raising the tax on that kid working in mc donalds. sounds like a great plan. let us know how all that works out for ya.
Antrolle Rolle December 30, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Fear not Galye agenda 21 or the guys in the white coats will come and take you away. Didja know you cant build a road with out a permit or money?
frank rizzo December 30, 2012 at 11:03 PM
heres a newsflash for wilson. bush ran up the deficit to $10 trillion. of the $6 trillion you lay on obama $1.6 trillion was to pay for the unpaid for bush wars that obama put on the books for the first time. $1,4 trillion was to pay the interest bush ran up on the deficit and $1.4 trillion was for lost revenue from the useless bush tax cuts. the rest of the money obama tried to use to rebuild the 77,000 crumbling roads and bridges in this country to which those like you called him a socialist for. it seems that republicans had no problem spending $10 billion each a month for iraq and afghanistan to have new roads instead. hey at least they have a starbucks in bagdad now. as borat would say " great success".
frank rizzo December 30, 2012 at 11:08 PM
ann powers in 2007 the guy who was behind the attack in benghazi was released from gitmo. i wonder who was president in 2007? . if you republicans spent half the time investigating the lies that led us into war as much as you did benghazi we wouldnt have been in places like iraq to begin with.
Antrolle Rolle December 30, 2012 at 11:09 PM
wilson is a guy who would gladly turn his brown blind eye to the fact that Bush started a war in iraq based on lies he supports things like the bridge to no where,vaginal probes,legit rape,magic underwear, the right to own a ar15 but wants his in the form of fema what was the tax rate under St Ronnie? wilson doesnt get the fact your only a car accident away or one pink slip away from having nothing
Bob H. December 31, 2012 at 03:54 AM
Galye - Yes...OC is considering giving wetlands over to the DEP who will wreck them for a bike path. And in the southend - the most flood-vulnerable part of the island. It's pure rotten politics...pathetic. the money should be used to protect the wetlands...there's a lot of pressure on the DEP to drop the plan - which threatened to take the OC property in the courts if the city did not just hand it over, especially after Sandy and because they are promoting wetland protection and a flood prevention measure elsewhere in the state. Government incompetance at its worst. Let the OC mayor know you oppose this crazy plan.
joyce December 31, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Yes the bike path enthusiasts (and we do know exactly who they are, don't we?) have once again cozied up to council to promise them anything for a vote to give away south end wetlands for yes - you got it - a bike path! Again, because these guys want what they want and they want to destroy more wetlands for an unnecessary bike path that will connect to an illegal bike path that was installed by cutting down a maritime forest in Corson's Inlet State Park during the Perilllo administration. Yes the quest to destroy south end wetlands continues by the boys club in Ocean City. Too bad these guys cannot find a hobby that doesn't contribute to the destruction of the south end homes in Ocean City by taking protective wetlands away - but you know how it is. They have pull with some of the biggest self promoters on council you know like Hartzell who would sell his soul to be Mayor and bases all his decisions on how many votes it may get him in the future. Give it up Keith, When you cannot even string together a few words to make a coherent sentence, I don't think you can be mayor. Sorry.
vic December 31, 2012 at 04:33 PM
all of you "not in my backyarders" pose as phony environmentalists in order to keep the rest of us residents from enjoying the same nature areas that you have access to. the majority of you do not permanently reside in ocean city and are just selfishly attempting to keep the marsh areas for yourself when you visit our city. we are wise to your schemes and will not allow you to hoard this precious area.
joyce December 31, 2012 at 05:05 PM
vic you are in the minority of uneducated, uninformed, ignorant of the facts - especially now after Sandy - you want to enjoy the marshes? they were in my garage at the end of October. Maybe you would like to stop in and help me dig out the mussel shells from the insulation in the walls. What a fool - yes the stinking second homeowners are keeping you from accessing nature - you want nature? go look at the beaches in the south end - that's nature - nature that needs to be respected. There are ample opportunites to enjoy the marshes - go take a walk on the new 9th st. bridge - get a kayak - - or better yet sit by your computer and illustrate your stupidity endlessly on the Patch access nature bet you don't move from the couch except to go to the computer bet you are overweight too you sound fat
Here come the Clowns...again December 31, 2012 at 05:56 PM
vic - Though you have established yourself in this string and on tons others on The Patch - you are fact-averse, irrational, and suffering from crippling ideology - so against my better instincts I'll whistle into the wind and point out that a very very small percentage of those who oppose the wetland bike path in corson's inlet state park live where any reasonable person would consider to be near the project - so don't meet the definition of NIMBY....so how to explain their opposition? In fact there are only about 5 houses from which the project area can be viewed and about two hundred people have officially and publicly gone on the record in opposition in letters, emails, and phone calls to city council, the mayor, the governor's office, and the DEP, and about half are year round residents (re: your idiotic "visitor" reference). More relevant though, and impossible for you to comprehend let alone acknowledge the legitimacy of, is that what matters in land use controversies is not the parties' motives but the merits of their position. The opponants utterly prevail on the merits, especially in light of the unfortunate lesson that was retaught with the back bay flooding during Sandy and the role the wetlands play in mitigating it.
Eric Sauder December 31, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Several have spoken to the environmental concerns over running a bike path thru Corson’s Inlet State Park and perhaps environmental concerns are the most important consideration. But it’s not the only consideration. I attended a council meeting where the bike path was discussed and part of the rationale for promoting it was that it would built for free (without local tax payer money) so why not build it? My comment was that simply because it is free isn’t a good reason to build it. Nothing was said about maintaining the bike trail or who would be responsible for the costs associated with maintaining it. Some of it will run along what is now City (private?) property. I own my shore house but I can tell you it costs me a bundle to keep. Truth be told I rent my place from the City. Does it make sense to build a thoroughfare thru a nature preserve? I think that is counterproductive to the intended use of the preserve. You can now take a quiet hike thru Corson’s Inlet State Park without bike riders whizzing thru. And how will that bike traffic NOT be disruptive to wildlife in the area?
Eric Sauder December 31, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Corson’s Inlet serves its intended purpose better without a bike trail running thru it. As a bike rider I wouldn’t use it anyway. If I want to ride from Ocean City to SIC I’ll take the most direct course along Ocean Drive. It’s a nice ride along that section of Ocean Drive with wide shoulders and pretty views. I don’t understand the rationale for building a bike path thru Corson’s Inlet. A bike trail thru that preserve will only diminish its usefulness as a wildlife sanctuary.
Sam Lavner December 31, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Eric - Good point well made. As you say, project construction costs would not come out of OC budget, but would be paid for by OC taxpayers from their state and fed taxes (the project is partly federally funded but I'm confident that will be withdrawn soon). And, as you say, 3 blocks of the current plan are on OC property and we would pay directly for that in public safety costs (an unlit elevated 6' wide boardwalk with no railings over the wetlands with bikes permitted unfortunately would require that). FYI - the DEP threatened to take the property in the courts if OC does not cooperate. You mention environmental opposition but not other bases for the opposition. 1st the environmental - the trail would cut though state-listed threatened and endangered species habitat and over critical and dwindling tidal salt water and freshwater wetlands. Other reasons for the opposition: there is already abundant access to the project area (the proposal is all that the park could come up with as part of a state-wide program - the park is small and has lots of trails now - this is the only conceivable new trail so is superfluous), those wetlands are adjacent to development so are especially vital to the role wetlands play in flood mitigation, the trailhead would require reserved parking in a neighborhood with a big parking problem in the summer. For all of these reasons the directly affected neighbors strongly oppose it as do the local and regional environmental communities.
wookfish January 01, 2013 at 10:46 AM
the next plane or bomb should be aimed at your house Franky
vic January 01, 2013 at 03:33 PM
uneducated and overweight are not adjectives that would properly describe me. people know that i bike to the gym and all over ocean city instead of using my car, and i would like to include the opportunity to bike through corson's state park ( and i would not be adding to congestion to the area by parking my car). so what's wrong with that?
johnathan January 01, 2013 at 03:46 PM
There has been a so called "bike path" in Corson's Inlet State Park since 2007 and apparently you didn't know about it. So basically vic you are full of baloney. You are just one of the small group of resentful, small minded "locals" who cannot stand anyone who may disagree with you (you resent the 2nd homeowners and are maybe a bit jealous too) so you point fingers and say they are NIMBYs cause you have no arguments to contradict the main argument - that wetland protection is an urgent priority on a barrier island like Ocean City (just like beach and dune protection) so if you think your little ride on a bike through the wetlands is more important that protecting the homes and neighborhoods, then your selfishness is only exceeded by your stupidity. Ocean City, especially from September to May, is one giant bike path with no cars (because the realtors and developers destroyed OC as a full time community) so the fact that you also want another piece of wetlands to ride your bike on - what you have is not enough for you - is disgusting. Yes the fact that you need even more when you have so much and it would be detrimental to the environment - there is something wrong with that, vic and you.
Mrgrumpass January 01, 2013 at 04:48 PM
Johnathan I think you are a bit lost, when in the BRICK PATCH we speak of OC we mean Ocean County not Ocean City, so you must be from elsewhere and not one of our locals who would never make this mistake so kindly paddle your Eco Nazi CRAP in your own back yard!
Oyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy January 01, 2013 at 06:12 PM
Looks like vic, who has a remarkable gut for what that's worth and since he picked up on that, found a fellow nincumpoop to back him up.
Mrgrumpass January 01, 2013 at 07:41 PM
i did not agree with Vic, i gusee that the only poop is in your hands now OYYYYYYYY
OClover January 02, 2013 at 03:17 AM
LOL. How are you not able to access the wetlands, Vic? What special access do non-permanent residents have currently that they are "hoarding" and keeping you from enjoying? Are you unaware they you can hike in Corson's Inlet State Park anytime you please? Sincerely, Part-time resident---FULL TIME TAX PAYER!!!!!

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