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

Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

Iraqi Kurdish Leader: Protect Syrian City

Islamic State fighters are besieging Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, after seizing at least 21 surrounding villages in a major assault against city on Syria's northern border with Turkey More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


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