Over two months after Hurricane Sandy hit, the House of Representatives has approved a $50.7 billion emergency bill to provide help to its victims. The aid package passed 241 to 180 on Tuesday, with 49 Republicans supporting it alongside 192 Democrats.
Of the $50.7 billion, $17 billion will go toward transit and relief aid and $33 billion will be reserved for longer-term projects. Though the amount falls short of the damages– $82 billion worth, according to Governors Cuomo, Christie, and Malloy– the package’s passage is being hailed as a long-awaited victory. From the New York Times:
The emergency aid measure would help homeowners whose homes have been damaged or destroyed, provide assistance to business owners who experienced losses as well as reinforce shorelines, repair subway and commuter rail systems, fix bridges and tunnels, and reimburse local governments for emergency expenditures.
Many representatives expressed dismay that the House took as long as it did. “Residents have been suffering for two-and-a-half months,” said Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, a Democrat from New York. “We need the aid. We need it now.”
If you’d like to help the relief effort, there are still local ways to dedicate your time. Congregation Beth Elohim continues to prepare and deliver meals to children in need at PS 197 in Far Rockaway. For more information or to sign up, visit the job list here.
Also, the Hurricane Sandy Relief Kitchen is still operating out of Old First Reformed Church, preparing hot food and delivering them, along with other necessary cleaning and personal supplies, to the Rockaways, Staten Island, Gerritsen Beach, Coney Island and other areas still affected by the storm. Sign up to volunteer here.
Photo via Occupy Sandy Relief NYC