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."

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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