2013-01-23 / Features

Crowley Votes For Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill

BY JOHN TOSCANO


“This bill should never have been tied up in political gamesmanship, but the wait is over and a much-needed hand will now be extended to the communities, families and small businesses devastated by Hurricane Sandy...” “This bill should never have been tied up in political gamesmanship, but the wait is over and a much-needed hand will now be extended to the communities, families and small businesses devastated by Hurricane Sandy...” “Seventy-nine days after Hurricane Sandy hit our communities, Congress is finally doing what it should have done months ago—taking action,” declared Congressmember Joseph Crowley, after the House finally passed the $50 billion Sandy Disaster Relief package that will bring long-awaited hurricane relief to New York state and other areas of the Northeast part of the state.

Also breathing a sigh of relief, the state Republican Party issued a statement saying, “On behalf of all New Yorkers, we thank (Republican House) Speaker John Boehner and New York’s Republican House delegation, all of whom worked around the clock to ensure the passage of this relief package.”

Boehner and members of the House Republican majority had held up approval of the much-needed federal aid for the 11- week period cited by Crowley. The state GOP statement praised Boehner and the party’s congressional delegation that voted for Sandy relief by adding, “As we continue to rebuild, New Yorkers know that we have a friend and ally in the Speaker’s office.”

Crowley (D–Queens/The Bronx), who is vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus, continued:

“This bill should never have been tied up in political gamesmanship, but the wait is over and a much-needed hand will now be extended to the communities, families and small businesses devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

“This aid package will ensure New York’s infrastructure is rebuilt to be better and stronger than ever, small businesses will have the cash flow they need to get back to work, and preventive measures are put in place to protect our city against future storms.”

The Sandy relief package, which must still be approved by the U.S. Senate, will, Crowley explained, help meet immediate recovery needs in New York and throughout the Northeast, including funding to restore buildings and property, repair New York’s transit systems, and provide loans to small businesses hurt by the storm.

The lawmaker added: “The bill will provide much-needed funding to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster relief fund, which provides shelter, food and other necessities in the wake of disasters and will provide for Community Development Block Grants, a critical program that helps local governments make important investments in areas like housing, infrastructure, transportation and economic development. In addition, the relief package puts in place cost-saving measures to prevent further damage from… future storms and natural disasters.”

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