Though the Senate just passed a $60.4 billion Hurricane Sandy relief bill, storm victims probably won't see much money from the feds anytime soon.
As the fiscal cliff drama rages on in Congress, Governors Cuomo and Christie, along with senators from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, implored Speaker of the House John Boehner to approve the bill before Congress' term ends on January 3rd. If the House doesn't vote before the end of term, the Senate will have to re-vote.
House Republicans say they have a problem with the bill, which they think puts too much money towards unnecessary measures like fixing damaged roofs on Smithsonian buildings in Washington. And New Jersey Representative Rob Andrews described present aid prospects as "pretty dark." But local politicians say that failing to pass the bill now would be devastating to victims who need the money badly.
They hope GOP Representatives from affected states—like Representative Michael Grimm, whose Staten Island constituency was battered by the storm—will push the House to act. "If this storm had struck your constituency and devastated it the way Sandy has ours, would you say that the House has done enough?," Cuomo, Christie and Connecticut Gov. Malloy asked in a statement Friday. "If tens of thousands of your constituent’s homes and business were destroyed, would you stay silent? Would you let months pass without the House taking any action to help?" The states have estimated Hurricane Sandy damage has topped $100 billion.