News / USA

Congress Approves Aid for US Storm Victims

Rose (L) and Dan Driscoll help move debris away from their parents' basement that had been flooded two months ago by Superstorm Sandy in the Queens borough region of Breezy Point, New York, December 29, 2012.
Rose (L) and Dan Driscoll help move debris away from their parents' basement that had been flooded two months ago by Superstorm Sandy in the Queens borough region of Breezy Point, New York, December 29, 2012.
Cindy Saine
Under intense pressure from angry leaders from both major political parties, the newly sworn in U.S. House of Representatives has passed a vote on $9 billion in relief aid to the victims of Hurricane Sandy along the East Coast. The vote to extend federal flood insurance for disaster victims was 354 for and 67 against. The Senate also passed the measure, which now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature. Some lawmakers said the vote amounts to "too little, too late."

​Hurricane Sandy was one of the worst storms ever in the U.S. Northeast, and the costliest national disaster in the United States since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  

The U.S. Senate approved a $60 billion measure last Friday to help with recovery from the October storm that devastated parts of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and other states.

Watch related video by Carolyn Weaver

NYC Area Hit by Sandy Still Waiting for Aidi
X
January 05, 2013 2:37 AM
The newly sworn-in House of Representatives has passed a $9 billion aid bill for victims of Hurricane Sandy along the US East Coast. The Senate also passed the measure, which now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature. Earlier in the new year, people and political figures from areas battered by Sandy expressed outrage that federal aid has been so slow to be passed, more than two months since many lost their homes, jobs and businesses to the storm. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver reports on Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood.

Facing internal dissent over legislation to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, Republican House Speaker John Boehner made the decision Tuesday night to cancel an expected vote on the Senate-approved Sandy aid bill before the 112th Congress ended its session. This provoked a firestorm of protest and outrage from lawmakers and governors from the affected region.

On Friday, the House brought up a partial measure to fund the federal flood insurance program, but many lawmakers were still angry that the House failed to pass the larger aid package sooner. Democratic lawmaker Nydia Velazquez was among them:

"It is indefensible that as Americans continue to suffer from Sandy's impact that the House Majority could not get their act together to bring the entire aid-Senate-passed package to a vote," said Velazquez.

Republican Congressman Peter King of New York, who had been outspoken in his criticism of Boehner, said that all his constituents want is to be treated fairly.

"This legislation is vital. This is not a handout," said King. "This is not something we are looking for as a favor. What we are asking for is to be treated the same as victims in all other storms, all other natural disasters have been treated."

Some Republicans opposed the aid vote, saying all disaster aid needs to be offset by spending cuts elsewhere in the budget to avoid contributing to the national debt.  Republican Congressman Jeb Hensarling of Texas:

"So right here right now, Madame Speaker, members are faced with a tragic choice, of not paying contractual claims to victims who paid premiums, or adding $9.7 billion to an insane national debt that threatens our national security, our economic well-being and our children's future," he said.

The Republican-controlled House has promised to hold a second vote January 15 for an additional $51 billion in storm assistance for the victims of the powerful storm that left at least 125 people dead and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses.

You May Like

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Video One Year After Massacre, Iraq’s Yazidis a Broken People

Minority community still recovering from devastating assault by IS militants which spurred massive outrage More

‘Malvertisements’ Undermine Internet Trust

Hackers increasingly prey on users' trust of major websites to delivery malicious software More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs