Congress approves $51 billion for Hurricane Sandy recovery

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Yesterday the Senate passed (62-36) a supplemental appropriations bill that provides $50.5 billion in assistance for victims of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.  Nine Republicans joined with 52 Democrats and one Independent (Sanders, I-VT) in voting for the bill.

The House approved the bill (241-180) two weeks ago so it now goes to the president who has indicated he would sign it.

This is the second bill passed by Congress providing Hurricane Sandy recovery assistance.  In early January, Congress passed and the president signed a bill increasing the borrowing authority for the National Flood Insurance Program by $9.7 billion.

The $51 billion included in the bill (H.R. 152) provides funds to meet individual and community assistance needs and to repair damaged housing and infrastructure.  Funding is also provided for small business loans and recovery aid to businesses.

Under the bill, the Community Development Fund (Department of Housing and Urban Development) is provided $16 billion for housing repair and replacement costs, repair needs of small businesses, and public infrastructure investments.  The FEMA Disaster Relief Fund receives $11.5 billion for Hurricane Sandy response and recovery efforts, including direct aid to survivors. 

The Federal Transit Administration (Department of Transportation) receives $5.4 billion to repair and restore public transportation infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Sandy and another $5.4 billion to reduce the risk of damage to transportation projects from future disasters.

The Corps of Engineers is provided $.7 billion for repairs to Civil Works projects operated and maintained by the Corps and $.6 billion for flood control and coastal emergencies.

The bill provides the Department of Defense (DoD) with $113 million to fund repairs to damaged facilities, utilities, and equipment.  Operations and Maintenance accounts receive $63 million:  Army ($5.4M), Navy ($40.0M), Air Force ($8.5M), Army National Guard ($3.2M), and Air National Guard ($5.8M).  Repairs to ammunitions production facilities at the Army Ammunition Plant in Radford, Virginia would require $1.3 million in Procurement of Ammunition Army funds.  The Navy Working Capital Fund (WCF,N)  receives $24.2 million for the cost of repair and debris removal.  The Army National Guard is provided $24.2 million in military construction funds to repair facilities and utilities.

The Coast Guard acquisition, construction, and improvements account is provided $274 million to rebuild and repair waterfront facilities, housing, boat stations, field units, and information and technology and communications systems. 

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