Sandy Relief Package Finally Passes Through House [AUDIO]
Two and a half months after Superstorm Sandy slammed Jersey, the House of Representatives has finally approved a 51 billion dollar relief package, much to the delight of the New Jersey Congressional delegation.
After the final vote was tallied, Congressman Frank Pallone said the relief package means "we can rebuild the Jersey shore because we'll have funding to rebuild our boardwalks, and our infrastructure, we'll have Community Development Grants that will go to homeowners, businesses so they can rebuild, and we also have money for our shore protection and dune restoration and flood control projects…This was a team effort, it was totally bipartisan in terms of the New York and the New Jersey delegation - we worked together constantly over the last few weeks."
Congressman Frank Lobiando said he feels "great relief for the people of New Jersey who were so devastated - in many cases had everything ripped from them - finally there's hope on the way and there's a recognition the disaster we had was not any less important than disasters in other parts of the country."
He said, "It's too bad that many representatives who voted against the relief package had begged for federal relief when their communities were hit with hurricanes and disasters, and now all of a sudden, these same people who had to live through disasters in their states - hold us to a different standard… That's shameful and unacceptable…It's as if they were trying to tell me our misery level wasn't as great as their misery level- that's something I just couldn't accept."
Jersey Congressman Rush Holt said unfortunately, "the measure was stalled for far too long - you know it's as if Congress forgot what a great country this…There's no excuse for this delay…In the end, many people who haven't been getting help will now receive assistance, so that's good - we did the best we could and we got it done."
NJ Congressman Chris Smith agrees, pointing out that passage of the legislation means "that recovery, which is the flip side of the coin for the emergency aid that was provided- can proceed aggressively, effectively, comprehensively…Many Garden State residents who were devastated by Sandy will have additional funds available to them in repairing their homes - the 22 thousand homes that were completely destroyed in the state of New Jersey - there will be more help for those people, it will mean more money for residents who had their homes damaged, businesses , infrastructure, mass transit - the key to this legislation is that it is in sufficient amounts to make the difference."