Congress OKs $50B Sandy Aid Bill
Lawmakers win battle against fiscal conservatives
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 28, 2013 6:00 PM CST
In this Oct. 30, 2012 file photo, Brian Hajeski, 41, reacts as he looks at debris of a home that washed up on to the Mantoloking Bridge after Superstorm Sandy rolled through in Mantoloking, NJ.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

(Newser) – Congress is sending a $50.5 billion emergency relief measure for Superstorm Sandy victims to President Obama for his signature. The Senate today cleared the bill, 62-36. Northeast lawmakers say the money is desperately needed to help recovery efforts from the one of the region's worst storms. The House passed the bill two weeks ago. The measure is aimed primarily at helping residents and businesses as well as state and local governments rebuild from the Oct. 29 storm.

It passed despite opposition from fiscal conservatives worried about adding to deficits. Sandy roared up the East Coast and has been blamed for more than 130 deaths and billions of dollars in residential and business property damage. The biggest chunk of money is $16 billion for Housing and Urban Development Department community development block grants. Of that, about $12 billion will be shared among Sandy victims as well as those from other federally declared disasters in 2011-2013. Obama has said he will sign the bill.

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Jan 29, 2013 9:30 PM CST
Why are people okay with spending $1500 Billion on Iraq but call spending less than 4% that amount on Americans who need help "pork?"
Jan 29, 2013 9:26 PM CST
I don't understand why 3 months after the storm there are still people with no electricity. How can that be?
Jan 29, 2013 5:32 AM CST
Insurance Agent to Sandy Victim: I've got some bad news, your home wasn't covered. What do you mean, it isn't covered? Well this damage was caused by flooding and you didn't have flood insurance. I didn't need flood insurance, I live in a "low risk" area. Yes you do, but still there was a chance of flooding and you didn't add it to your coverage. That's just great, what do I do now? Well, I'm sure the Federal Goverment will step-in and help out. Same person seeking Federal Aid: So, your telling me that you that I can only get half the money I need to re-build? Yes, that's correct. With the housing market the way it is and the lowering of market value, your home is worth half of what you paid for it. I can't re-build my home for that amount and I can't afford a new home with the amount you say I can have. What am I suppose todo? Well, if you would have had flood insurance, we could help you re-build. So the choice is your's, do you want the money or not? Insurance Company/Federal Goverment 1-------Home Owner 0