The U.S. House finally passed the major Hurricane Sandy relief bill Tuesday night to help hundreds of thousands of East Coast families and communities recover and rebuild from the massive November storm. But House Speaker John Boehner’s (R) nearly monthlong delay in holding the vote continues to stall the much-needed help as the out-of-session Senate will not be able to vote on the bill until next week.
New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento expressed relief that the aid package was near finished.
After a number of phony promises and false starts, the House finally stepped up and did what they should have in the first place. The millions impacted by Sandy were victimized once again by Washington politics, but ultimately they will receive critically needed aid.
The bill passed 241-180, with 179 Republicans voting against helping hurricane victims and 49 voting for the relief package.
The $50 billion in hurricane relief funds, coupled with a smaller $9.7 billion patchwork bill the House approved after receiving withering criticism for its inaction, is close to the package President Obama proposed in December that passed the Senate.
Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that the House bill, while not as good as the Senate’s product, was “close enough,” and he would urge colleagues to pass it speedily.
Most of the money will be used to rebuild the homes and businesses destroyed by the storm, including funding for rebuilding and improving the transportation systems ravaged by Sandy or help for flood control and shore strengthening projects.