Sandy aid package approved


The US House of Representatives has approved a partial aid package for victims of superstorm Sandy.

The $9.7 billion measure will be used to pay flood insurance claims for affected homeowners. The National Flood Insurance Programme, the US government scheme, has been running out of money to pay on claims submitted by households who had paid premiums for coverage. The Bill will allow the scheme to borrow more money to pay the more than 100,000 claims.

The Bill is expected to become law shortly, while on January 15th, the House is expected to pass the remainder of the $60 billion in aid the Senate agreed in the previous session of Congress.

Michael Grimm, a New York Republican, said yesterday he feared the delay in aid would lead to many business closures. “Every day you’re not open you’re losing revenue and your ability to reopen,” he said. The loss of businesses in his area as a result of Congressional delay was “untenable”.

Sandy hit northeastern US more than two months ago, damaging hundreds of thousands of homes, closing businesses and wreaking extensive damage to coastal areas of New York and New Jersey.

Since then, politicians from the affected areas have pleaded for federal government aid. The Republican-led House has been slow to respond, citing federal debt levels as a reason to cut government expenditures. – (The Financial Times Limited 2013)