Electeds Hail Passage Of Sandy Federal Aid Package
Congressmember Carolyn B. Maloney joined with other elected officials and civic leaders from around the city to hail the final passage on January 15 by the U.S. House of Representatives of a package of legislative measures delivering federal disaster aid to those areas of the New York metropolitan region devastated by the cataclysmic Superstorm Sandy last October. The leaders spoke at a news conference she convened outside the Manhattan Veterans Administration Hospital on East 23rd Street, which will benefit from more than $228 million in federal funding that will help the facility renovate and repair key departments and systems, replace damaged or destroyed medical equipment and building systems, and repair or replace IT equipment damaged during the superstorm.
Maloney was joined at the press conference by state Senator Brad Hoylman; Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh; Councilmembers Dan Garodnick and Jessica Lappin, Partnership for New York City Vice President of Public Affairs Michael Levoff and Wilbur Weder, a U.S. Army veteran and Manhattan health activist who serves as chair of the Health Committee of Manhattan Community Board 6 and vice president of the Auxiliary of Bellevue Hospital; Manhattan veterans’ leaders Jerry Alperstein, New York state Commander of the Jewish War Veterans, and Joe Bello, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1984 to 1995.
“The action taken by the House last night, while overdue, will help deliver desperately needed federal funding for crucial infrastructure restoration and economic recovery, in the district I represent and in so many others,” said Maloney. “When combined with aid to the National Flood Insurance Program that was passed 10 days ago, the House has at long last made good on the $60 billion in federal funds passed by the U.S. Senate in the last Congress.
“Thousands of residents of the New York City area are struggling to rebuild their homes and businesses; four major hospitals in and around New York City were evacuated and sustained significant damage, including three in my district and the one we stand before today; and the very arteries of our city, its subway system, suffered its worst damage in its 108-year-long history.”
On Dec. 28, 2012, the U.S. Senate passed a $60.4 billion Sandy Disaster Relief Package by a bipartisan vote of 62 to 32, with 12 Senate Republicans voting yes. The package is very close to the Obama Administration’s request. Superstorm Sandy was the second costliest natural disaster in American history, surpassed only by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The measures passed last night will support regional recovery efforts through the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund, the Federal Transit Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loans, and will provide funding for a Social Services Block Grant, Amtrak, and initiatives to mitigate the effects of future natural disasters.