Federal money on the way to storm-hit areas
After Superstorm Sandy struck the Northeast on Oct. 29, 2012, killing more than 100 people and causing billions of dollars in property destruction, President Barack Obama promised quick and lasting help for victims.
"We are going to be with them every step of the way in helping them to rebuild their lives,” he said at a campaign stop days after the storm.
It took three months, but on Jan. 28, 2013, Congress passed a $50 billion aid package, which Obama signed into law that same night. Earlier in January, Congress approved and Obama signed a $9.7 billion bill to replenish the National Flood Insurance Program.
A previous version of the larger spending bill got tied up in the fight over the "fiscal cliff,” and some Republicans voted against the one that eventually passed because it was not offset by spending cuts.
The first $5.4 billion in aid has already been dispatched, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The money went to "areas of greatest need in the region impacted by Hurricane Sandy,” including $1.77 billion for New York City, $1.71 billion for New York state and $1.83 billion for New Jersey.
In addition to funding, the Obama administration oversaw the movement of supplies and gasoline to storm-stricken areas. The Department of Defense flew 17 aircraft to bring power generation equipment and crews to restore electricity. Barges brought gasoline to areas with shortages.
It will be months or years before the full response to Sandy can be assessed. But with money flowing to affected areas, we move this promise from Not Yet Rated to In the Works.
THOMAS, H.R. 152, Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013, signed Jan. 29, 2013
Associated Press, "Congress passes $50.5B Superstorm Sandy aid bill,” Jan. 28, 2013
New York Times, "U.S. to Release First Installment of $51 Billion in Hurricane Sandy Aid,” Feb. 5, 2013
Interview with Clark Stevens, White House spokesman, Feb. 11, 2013
HUD Public Affairs, "HUD announces first round of allocation of Hurricane Sandy recovery funds, " Feb. 6, 2013
Associated Press, "US military flying power equipment to storm area,” Nov. 1, 2012