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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid