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Sandy Aid: House Approves Funds Friday; Martins Tours Damaged Areas

Delayed vote OKs $9.7 million in aid for hurricane relief.

The House approved $9.7 billion in Superstorm Sandy aid Friday, according to published reports

Before adjourning last week, outgoing House lawmakers passed on to the new Congress which met for the first time Thursday a proposed $60 billion aid package. Congressional GOP members criticized the proposed "pork" spending in the bill that was unrelated to Sandy needs.

Calling it "inexusable" and a "disgrace," state Sen. Jack Martins, R-Mineola, lambasted his own party in the House for not voting on the measure last week.

"Shame on them," said Martins in a statement.

Lawmakers in Washington are expected to weigh in on the remaining $51 billion in broader relief funding on Jan. 15, according to CNN.

When asked by Patch if the senator had a problem with the delayed House vote, Joseph Rizza, a Martins aide, responded by saying the senator stands with other leaders such as Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., on the position that Congress needs to get aid to the victims of the storm.

"It's been over two months since this devastating storm hit and residents and businesses are still waiting for the House to act," said Rizza.

Martins was in Freeport Thursday as part of the New York State Senate Bipartisan Task Force on Hurricane Sandy Recovery.

The group, which included Town of North Hemsptead Supervisor Jon Kaiman, visited communities on Long Island to tour storm damage and speak with local officials, business leaders, and individuals about the progress and challenges of the ongoing recovery efforts. 

Participants focused on the storm's impacts in Nassau and Suffolk with tours of Freeport, Island Park and Oceanside.

“It’s important and appropriate that the task force meet here on Long Island where so many of our friends and neighbors were hit hard by Superstorm Sandy and are still recovering from its effects," said Martins. "We Long Islanders are a resilient bunch. We will work to make sure that Long Island communities are not forgotten as we move forward in our efforts to rebuild.”

The New York State Senate has not voted regarding aid to Sandy victims, according to Rizza.

sadeto January 05, 2013 at 03:18 PM
As is the case with most bills in Congress, the so- called "Sandy Relief Bill" was not exactly about what its nickname implied. Yes, nickname, because the title of the bill in the Congressional Record does not mention hurricane Sandy or relief. It does mention the Department of Defense, thus the purchase of ammunition. But it also mentions "other purposes," thus the funding for Head Start, fisheries, the Navy, the Coast Guard, etc. This isn't necessarily "pork"', though some of it may be, but it is the typical way legislation gets done. And that isn't a bad thing: watch a vote on CSPAN some day and then tell me you want that to happen for every $1 million or $10 million our Congress spends. And on top of that, it was the final day of that Congress. Perhaps Speaker Boehner reduced the potential opposition and nay votes by breaking the spending out and delaying until the new Congress was in session.
sadeto January 05, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Don't knock pork barrel politics: Sandy relief aid is by definition "pork" - Federal legislation to specifically benefit local constituents of a small number of representatives. This legislation has no national significance other than continuing to define and acknowledge the role of the Federal government in helping states respond to natural disasters. Which of course is opposed by many members of the Republican party, at least until something happens in their home district.
SLJ January 05, 2013 at 04:56 PM
sadeto--actually the part of the bill discussing ammunition, specifically mentions Hurricane Sandy. I read the 100 pages, you should do so as well. It's a real eye-opener...
Vincent January 05, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Hurry up, hurry up! Pass this Bill before the public has a chance to see where this "aid" went or isbeing squirreled away. Oh, you say we have to pass it before we can see what is in it? Oh, I understand.
Vincent January 07, 2013 at 02:32 PM
Is Congress responsible for holdigup this Sandy relief up also? http://www.newsday.com/business/sandy-struck-homeowners-face-delay-in-cashing-insurance-checks-1.4412711

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