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

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults 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.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid