Victims of Hurricane Sandy are about to receive some financial assistance courtesy of the U.S. federal government.
President Obama signed a $9.7 billion aid measure today, Sunday, January 6, 2013 to help cover the insurance claims filed by Super Storm Sandy victims. This measure is the first in a series of aid requests and it likely won’t be the last as victims of this powerful, unexpected storm continue to rebuild, repair damage, and search for the financial means to complete the work.
This insurance- related measure passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 354 to 67, on largely bipartisan grounds. It then went to the U.S. Senate, passed by a unanimous vote, and was then signed by President Obama. The bill provides the National Flood Insurance Programs the authority to borrow $9.7 billion to fulfil claims from Hurricane Sandy. So far, the National Flood Insurance Program has assisted storm- ravaged citizens with $1.7 billion in direct aid. The additional $9.7 billion will help extend the aid to more of Sandy’s victims and help with the tremendous costs of rebuilding and repair.
New York Senator Charles Schumer pushed for a much larger aid package totalling some $60.4 billion and hoped the measure would be voted on and passed last week. But concerns over the Fiscal Cliff and other issues pushed the Hurricane Sandy relief bill to the side and delayed its passage.
The initial $9.7 billion is a good start, but much more is needed to repair the storm damage and return life to normal. The U.S. House has promised to vote on the remainder of the aid package on January 15, 2013 and will, more than likely, approve its passage. It won’t be a moment too soon for private citizens, businesses, and government offices who are still struggling with Super Storm Sandy’s financial wrath.
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