The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday evening approved a $50 billion relief bill that will aid victims of Hurricane Sandy.
The vote came after harsh criticism by both Republicans and Democrats in the Northeast when Republican leadership in the House failed to bring a $60 billion aid package approved by the U.S. Senate to the floor for a vote earlier this month. Days later, the House approved a smaller amount of the Senate bill—$9.7 billion—on January 4.
Democratic U.S. Representative Tim Bishop lauded the passage of the $50 billion emergency funding bill in a statement released on Wednesday. The bill must now be approved by the Senate, which could vote on it as early as next week.
“I am proud to be a part of the bipartisan coalition that delivered this necessary aid to our hard-hit area, although we should have reached this point many weeks ago,” Mr. Bishop said. “I urge the Senate to pass this legislation without delay.”
In the statement, Mr. Bishop highlighted provisions of the bill important to Long Islanders, including $11.5 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund; $5.35 billion in funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; $13 billion in mitigation funds; $16 billion for Community Development Block Grants and $780 million for Small Business Administration disaster loans.
Southampton Town incurred about $2 million in actual storm damage but the town is requesting $50 million in aid, the lion’s share of which would be used for projects, such as beach renourishment, to protect against future storms.
East Hampton Town officials said they would seek FEMA reimbursement for nearly $1.8 million in storm damages.